Sally Kern: What should she do?

Sally Kern is an Oklahoma state representative who recently found herself a YouTube star thanks to gay advocacy group the Victory Fund. Mrs. Kern, a second term lawmaker from Oklahoma City and Baptist pastor’s wife, was secretly taped giving a rambling speech to her Republican colleagues regarding threats to conservatives in local political races. Her comments, now viewed over 1 million times on YouTube have ignited a firestorm of controversy and opposition, particularly among homosexual rights groups. Perhaps most quoted has been this passage

Matter of fact, studies show no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted more than, you know, a few decades. So it’s the death knell for this country. I honestly think it’s the biggest threat even, that our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam, which I think is a big threat, okay.

Predictably, a firestorm of controversy has enveloped Rep. Kern. She has been defiant and resolute in response. Several days after the YouTube video hit the cyberstreet, Kern was interviewed by a supportive Matt Barber of the Concerned Women for America, where she again stated, “homosexuality, in my opinion, is a bigger threat to this nation than terrorism.”

All of this reminded me of survey findings reported in the recent book, UnChristian, reviewed recently by fellow Crosswalk blogger, Regis Nicoll. Here is Regis’ take on what UnChristian has to say about homosexuality:

In survey after survey, Kinnaman found that the homosexuality issue, more than any other has shaped public perceptions about Christians. “Hostility toward gays–not just opposition to homosexual politics and behaviors but disdain for gay individuals–has become virtually synonymous with the Christian faith,” Kinnaman writes.

Whether or not that’s a fair association, it reflects how we come across to others. When our criticism of homosexual behavior is out of proportion to our concern over heterosexual divorce and promiscuity in the church, it smacks of hypocrisy. Add to that, a perceived air of moral superiority, and you’ve got the picture of the “unChristian.” Again, while these impressions may not accurately represent Christianity, they do affect how the Christian message is received.

Seems to me, Sally Kern’s comments, refusal to see the offense they cause, and the stance of her defenders put an exclamation point on the findings of UnChristian. What makes her comments all the more jarring is that she represents a district in Oklahoma City, scene of the Murrah Federal Building destroyed by domestic terrorist, Timothy McVeigh.

While it is tempting to opine further, I would like to hear from readers on this one. What should Rep. Kern do? Should she stick to her guns, basing her views on her faith? Or should she retract this comparison and engage in dialogue with those who are offended? Or something else?

  • Michael Bussee

    Email her and tell her you’re listening. I just did. sallykern@okhouse.gov The phone number on her website has been disconnected. http://www.okhouse.gov/Committees/Member.aspx?MemberID=87

    I Wonder why?

  • Dave Garrecht

    First, let’s clarify what Kern meant, within the cointext of her speech, especially since the Youtube excerpts are taken out of context. The full transcript of her remarks can be accessed at http://americansfortruth.com/news/full-transcript-of-oklahoma-rep-sally-kerns-speech.html.

    Most notably, she admits she misspoke using the words “decades” instead of “generations.” Also, her reference to terrorism was within the context of radical Islamic terrorism, never the Oklahoma City bombing (her speech was given in several different cities at different times, so domestic terrorism was not in mind).

    What should she do? Hang tough! Tough love can be painful at first when truth is spoken, but this is the kind of love needed to turn our culture around. A significant sentence omitted in Youtube and other reports is her statement: “The book that I base my life upon is God’s Word; and it says to love everybody and I try to love everybody.”

    Yes, the gay activists are twisting her message to be an attack on homosexuality, probably because the truth is that their identity and corporate being are vulnerable to hard fact and historical evidence. But the right not to be offended is not in our Constitution.

    Kern speaks for the many of us –not just Oklahomans; we’re here in Vermont, also, and all across this nation! Christian love is for all persons, but not for person-harmful conduct. Plan ahead at least to the seventh generation.

  • Michael Bussee

    What should she do? Hang tough! Tough love can be painful at first when truth is spoken, but this is the kind of love needed to turn our culture around.

    Comparing gayness to terrorism? Are you kidding me? Tough love? The “truth”? What our culture needs? God protect us from love like hers..

  • Michael Bussee

    Could Dave G. give us a few examples to support the “truth” of Kern’s assertion that homosexualilty is the biggest threat even, that our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam”?

  • http://anziulewicz.livejournal.com Chuck Anziulewicz

    There is a big difference between political correctness and TACT. In Sally Kern’s case, what she has displayed is an astonishing lack of TACT. Perhaps it would be good for her to get out more, meet some of her Lesbian and Gay constituents, especially Gay couples. She needs to find out what the lives of REAL Gay people are like, rather than parroting talking points from the Family Research Council. She might find out that the vast majority of her Gay consituents are just ordinary individuals and couples striving to work hard, better their communities, and conduct their lives with decency and humility. That’s a far cry from terrorism.

  • Mary

    Perhaps, she should take an etiquette course and research her opinion more before making public statements.

  • Dave Garrecht

    Michael & Chuck,

    It’s not a military threat, it’s the historical evidence that civilizations that embraced sexual diversity rather than maintaining the nuclear family did not make it beyond the seventh generation.

    Yes, Chuck, she (and I) know some gay couples, and we harbor no animousity toward them. Some called “gay” are merely same-sex pairs living together and caring about one another, which even the Bible does not condemn. Others are immersed in sexual perversity, the morbidity/mortality statistics for which are dismal.

    However, neither contribute to a hale and hearty next generation. The nuclear one-man, one-woman happily-married couples produce the best-adjusted children –many studies support this.

  • NickC

    Can anyone name even one “society that has totally embraced homosexuality ” and then lasted no “more than, you know, a few decades”? Can anyone cite the “studies” that have supposedly examined and proven such a dynamic?

  • Nick R

    She needs to question what evangelical Christian leaders say instead of just assuming if they say it, it is therefore true.

    The notion that civilizations end because of homosexuality is simply, well, stupid. It also concerns me to have someone determining policy who is so unthinking.

    The fact is that Rome became more intolerant of homosexuality as the generations went on, not more accepting. If one were to use a cause and effect argument, which one shouldn’t to begin with but Sally Kern seems to think it appropriate, then one would conclude that Rome collapsed because it became intolerant of homosexuality, not accepting of it. The reality, of course, is the collapse of Rome (and Greece) had nothing to do with homosexuality whatsoever. Based on the actual evidence, it is more consistent to say that heterosexuality will lead to the collapse of civilizations because not all civilizations to collapse practiced homosexuality, but they all certainly did practice heterosexuality. Of course, this is a ridiculous argument as well because all societies collapsed for other reasons. Seriously, where do they come up with such stupidity?

    So, my advice for Sally is to start being honest and not trust what evangelical leaders say. This is my biggest problem with the anti-gay crowd – they are dishonest, pure and simple.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Dave – I have to ask you to produce the studies.

  • Dan

    This is an answer to Nick – ROME. Read some history and you’d know that.

  • http://www.exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    I am deeply saddened that conservatives seem not only unwilling to speak out in opposition to Kern’s absurd statement but some are actually praising her for it! Read the entire thing, in context – it doesn’t get any better. Sometimes someone is just wrong and no amount of wriggling after the fact will make her comparison of homosexuality to terrorism – any terrorism (what is this splitting hairs over domestic vs external?) anything but abysmal.

    Kern represents the people in her district, she makes decisions about where money is spent, the priorities of local and state government, etc. And she thinks gays and their participation in government are a greater threat to that government than people who blow up buildings? It really doesn’t matter how she meant that to come across, there is simply no way to say it and have it be anything but hateful hyperbole. How would you like to be from her district and Jewish had her speech been about Jews? That’s how the gays and lesbians there feel now. But it’s beyond that, most of all the Church can’t ignore such hateful distortions, yet I see no one taking a stand against them.

    It’s really just sad, there is no other way to describe it for me.

  • http://www.exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    Dave – I have to ask you to produce the studies.

    Produce the studies behind all three claims, one per paragraph.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Dan – Again, what studies? Roman civilization has had a profound impact on the world. Rome fell for sure, but do you mean to say, it was due to homosexuality? I have heard that idea before but knowing something about the sexual practices often called homosexuality (pederasty and the like), I do not see how this relates to the modern context.

    Please, readers, do not simply assert something, offer references to the studies you appeal to. Rep. Kern said studies and I would like to know what studies.

  • http://www.exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    Dan said:

    This is an answer to Nick – ROME. Read some history and you’d know that.

    Dan, can you produce any factual evidence that the Roman Empire fell because they “embraced sexual diversity”?

    Also, let’s remember that the Western Roman Empire existed for 500 years (considerably longer than a “few decades”), and embraced Christianity for the last couple hundred years. And strangely enough, among the historical reasons for it’s decline, you will not find sexual diversity but you do find… Christianity.

  • Dave Garrecht

    Warren, I have to admit that it’s been 45+ years since my study of ancient history, but I was impressed with the observations of the writers that the breakdown of family structure, and sexual promiscuity of all kinds was a prominent factor in the disintegration of ancient cultures. Also, the Book of Leviticus explicitly points out the sexual transgressions of nations being displaced, with the warning that even the Hebrew nation will be destroyed if they adopt these practices. Subsequent chapters show that 10 of the 12 tribes did Israel did fall into worship of the fertility gods (Baals) with its emphasis on sexual promiscuity, and these 10 tribes disappeared from history. Sodom & Gemorrah became bywords in post-captivity Judaism for the worst consequences of sexual misconduct, such that even in Jesus’ day the mere mention of them meant “avoid this kind of sexual conduct” –it’s ultimately destructive.

    Reminder to David R. et al: We’re talking about behavior, not people. Being a “homosexual” is similar to being a “smoker” –it’s what you do, not who you are. It’s also a matter of conviction –and convictions can change. It does not and never has fit the Supreme Court’s definition of a “suspect” (discriminated against) class of people.

  • Dave Garrecht

    OOPS, sorry. I meant “Subsequent books” –of the Bible.

  • Nick R

    Dan,

    I mentioned Rome. Apparently, you don’t know history very well. Let’s look , shall we?

    Many (most) of the early emperors had same-sex relationships.

    Christianity became the state religion in 312.

    Gay marriages were outlawed in 342.

    Corporal punishment for some homosexual behavior was initiated in 390.

    All homosexual behavior made illegal in the 500s.

    So, at Rome’s height homosexuality was accepted. Rome increasingly became intolerant. Rome fell.

    It seems to me that your argument is based on hearsay – you heard evangelical leaders and ignorant evangelical politicians say it, so you assumed it was true, regardless of the facts.

    The reality is your arguments are based on bigotry, not evidence. If Christians were treated the way you treat gays, you’d probably say you were being persecuted. Hmm, the Golden Rule? Obviously it’s better to lie about gays than follow Jesus.

  • NickC

    Dan-

    Rome?? Do you know anything at all about history? The period in which homosexuality became most accepted in Roman society was from the last century BC into the second century AD–the period when the empire was expanding. Julius Caesar was known to have had at least one homosexual affair. Tiberius, Caligula, and Nero were all renowned for their sexual shenanigans, yet the empire kept growing throughout their reigns. Hadrian, who erected temples to his male lover, secured the borders of Rome’s power at its height.

    The empire’s decline set in during the third and fourth centuries AD–coinciding, curiously enough, not with the expansion of homosexuality, but the expanson of Christianity. Constantine made Christianity the state religion in 305; the first sack of Rome occurred in 410. And what event preceded the fall of Rome by just a few decades? The first law to ban same sex love, which was enacted in 390, making homosexuality punishable by death.

    So one can easily make a case that Christianity is more to blame for the decline and fall of Rome than the “total embrace” of homosexuality.

    Try again, Dan.

    The root problem in all but one of Diamond’s factors leading to collapse is overpopulation relative to the practicable (as opposed to the ideal theoretical) carrying capacity of the environment.

    Homo Edward Gibbons, in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, did p . But Gibbons also maintained that growth of Christianity was the single

  • NickC

    Sorry for that last paragraph. Fragments of further comments I thought I had deleted.

    I was starting to comment on the recent book “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed” by Jared Diamond. Diamond examines a number of case studies in which societies have completely collapsed, sometimes in short time frames. He finds that the root problem in most collapses is overpopulation, leading to the depletion of resrouces.

    So guess we gays are off the hook there, too.

  • http://www.exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    Dave, you’ve responded to a request for substantiation of a claim of fact, with another claim and no fact. If you have to dig into Leviticus to support Kern’s statement, I think we can just assume you have no proof.

    We’re talking about behavior, not people. Being a “homosexual” is similar to being a “smoker” –it’s what you do, not who you are. It’s also a matter of conviction –and convictions can change. It does not and never has fit the Supreme Court’s definition of a “suspect” (discriminated against) class of people.

    An inaccurate statement along with an opinion I don’t share. There seems to be little of substance here to discuss. It is important that we don’t just repeat stereotypes and rhetoric, which is why you were asked to provide some support for your claims.

  • Michael Bussee

    It wasn’t homosexuality that caused the fall of Sodom. According to the Old Testament:

    “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy.

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)

  • http://anziulewicz.livejournal.com Chuck Anziulewicz

    DEAR DAVE GARRECHT:

    You write, “Some called “gay” are merely same-sex pairs living together and caring about one another, which even the Bible does not condemn.”

    And you have some profound insight into how they care for one another? If they simply say, “Yes, we’re a Gay couple,” are you in the habit of inquiring about their bedroom habits? If sex is out of the question, how about kissing? What if you spotted a male couple holding hands in public? Would that be deserving of your righteous anger?

    “Others are immersed in sexual perversity, the morbidity/mortality statistics for which are dismal.”

    Monogamy. Commitment. Respect. And most of all, HIV testing. Trust me, David, if a Gay couple that has tested negative for HIV and other STDs enters into a monogamous relationship, this “morbidity/mortality” you speak of is not going to arbitrarily STRIKE them like a lightning bolt hurled by an angry and vindictive God.

    “However, neither contribute to a hale and hearty next generation.”

    And REGARDLESS of how much respect and human dignity we accord to Gay couples, Straight (i.e. heterosexual) people will always comprise over 90% of the remaining population. Trust me, there is no movement afoot to make homosexuality COMPULSORY. Your “hale and hearty next generation” is in no danger.

  • Nick R

    Should she stick to her guns, basing her views on her faith?

    I’m curious Warren, what aspect of Christianity, her supposed faith, is she basing her views on? Unless bigotry is an inherent part of Christianity, I don’t see how her views are related in any way, shape, or form to Christianity.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Nick – I am not saying I agree with her; just saying what she claims about her entire speech.

  • Richard W. Fitch, Indianapolis

    I just want to interject the observation that what has been disclosed regaarding the mayor of Detroit and the now former governor of New York exhibits some of the chastness and probrity that some in political office seem to consider as canon for American hetrosexuals.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    What does Kern need to do?

    1. Check her Facts. She makes a number of assertions about homosexuality and she needs to be specific. If she does, she’ll find that she’s quoting Paul Cameron on her mortality statistics.

    2. Read her History. She makes claims about history that do not seem to be backed up by documentation.

    For example, she claims that the founding fathers “gave preferential treatment to Christianity”. This seems to be contrary to not only the Constitution but also that which is fairly well known about the religious beliefs of the most influential of the founding fathers.

    She also claims that “no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted more than, you know, a few decades” (later clarified to be “generations”). She needs to specifically state which societies that she is referencing and do a comparison of tolerance towards homosexuality and societal collapse along with reading the reasons that anthopologists and historians give for the collapse.

    3. Admit her Errors.

    If she finds that she has made statements that are not supported by fact or adequate documentation, she needs to publicly admit her errors and offer an apology. Further, she need to contact those to whom she made false statements and make amends.

    4. Be Upfront about her Beliefs.

    Based on her statements about Christian preference and subjecting science, education, and libraries to “Christian principles”, it appears that Sally Kern is a Christian Reconstructionist and would put civil law subject to her religious beliefs.

    She needs to make this known to her non-Christian and secular constituents.

    She also needs to explain exactly what she would do about those gay individuals she castigates. Would she ban Tim Gill from contributing to the political process. Would she disallow city councils from having gay members. Somehow I don’t think she would hesitate to do so and she needs to be very specific about this.

    Finally, she needs to explain to her constituents that given the chance to remove terrorism as a threat or to eliminate equality for their gay neighbors, she would choose the second.

    5. Repent her Abuses.

    Mrs. Kern clearly does not treat her gay neighbors as she wants to be treated. She is willing to bear false witness. She is willing to use the force of law to coerce those who disagree with her from having access to the public libraries, from participation in the public sphere, and from other forms of equality.

    That is sin. And she needs to ask God for his mercy and forgiveness.

    7. Resign her Position.

    Now none of this would be very useful to her political career. But it just might save her soul.

    And clearly Mrs. Kern cannot trust herself to place her soul, her integrity, and her honesty as higher than her political ambitions. So she should set those ambitions aside.

  • Nick R

    Warren,

    When can we expect to hear Christians speak out against her unjustified and indefensible lies that give all Christians a bad name and create barriers for homosexuals from hearing the gospel?

    Or, as I suspect, will they remain silent, not wanting to appear to “support” the “gay agenda”.

    WWJD? Obviously remain silent while one of his followers lies and spreads hatred.

  • Kevin

    Warren writes: “…particularly among homosexual rights groups.” Phrases like “homosexual rights groups” are disfavored by modern style guides (APA, NYT, WaPo, etc.) and are also inaccurate because most of these groups also advocate on behalf on trans people. “LGBT rights groups” would be the modern usage.

  • Mary

    Nick,

    I have spoken out. I don’t happen to my a journalist or hold a podium position – but many are aghast at her words. Others on this and other blogs have also spoken out.

  • Mary

    Timothy,

    I support your suggestions. If I were a citizen in her district, I would request resignation as her views do not represent mine.

  • Nick R

    But Mary,

    Many prominent evangelical leaders either remain silent or have supported her (as is the case with Focus on the Family). Why is it, Mary, that blatant untruths, such as that Rome was destroyed for homosexuality, are allowed to persist within evangelical Christianity? There is absolutely no evidence for it, yet I hear time and again. Why is something so blatantly wrong allowed to persist? At what point can we expect the leaders of this movement to be honest and set the record straight? At what point can we expect them to declare that the information so often used against homosexuals is simply not true. Instead, they remain silent. All the while, their followers continue to spout forth lies, their politicians spout forth hatred. At what point are evangelical leaders going to hold themselves accountable for the truth? My guess is, they won’t – because it is not politically expedient to be honest.

    We are told to judge a tree by its fruit. The fruit of evangelical Christianity is rotten, putrid, vile lies, hatred, and “turning the other cheek” when someone else is being viciously attacked.

    Seriously Mary, I would really like to know which evangelical leaders have publicly condemned the comments put forth by this “Christian” politician. The short amount of time I have observed this blog, I have seen Mr Throckmorton say she does not speak for him, but I haven’t actually seen him condemn her comments. I asked him if he condemns the comments of people like Ken Hutcherson – who said if any effeminate man held the door open for him he would rip his arm off and beat him with the bloody end – and all I got from Throckmorton was Hutcherson doesn’t speak for him. In other words, he didn’t condemn those words.

    No matter what blog I look at, when evangelicals interact with gays I see evangelicals spouting forth lies, disproven “data”, and so forth. I’m judging the tree by its fruit. I’m finding the tree is rotten to the core.

    And as someone who actually does believe in God and desires that people follow Jesus, I am sick of these so-called “Christians” claiming his name and then doing everything opposite that he taught. I’m sick of Dobson’s lies. I’m sick of Robertson’s lies. I’m sick of the Throckmorton’s of the world remaining silent, but also being more than willing to be interviewed for Focus on the Family propaganda. I’m sick of these politicians spewing forth hatred, that results in people like me being killed, all the while they claim they are Christian and I’m not. Honest, justice, mercy, faithfulness – I don’t find them in evangelical Christianity. And that makes me mad.

  • Mary

    I don’t know, Nick. I , too, wish someone prominent would speak up. Personally, I don’t consider groups such as FOTF or CWA to be all that christian when they twist information around and do nothing when comments like hers are made. But just so you know – a prominent may support her, or not speak up – that doesn’t mean that christians aren’t paying attention and that we don’t accept her.

    You know, Christ talks about such people all the time. It is my biggest stumbling block with christianity, too.

  • Nick R

    But Mary, they did do something – they supported her. What I’m asking is where are the evangelical leaders who care more about truth and honesty than about their bigoted political agenda? I’m still looking, but I’m just more and more realizing that these “Christians” talk Christ but have no clue who Jesus is and simply do not care about truth and honesty. They find the lies expedient and are more than willing to tolerate them. No wonder young people are repulsed by evangelical Christianity.

  • john r

    im a believer, charismatic, evangelical and i have yet to see where scripture, the original greek, in any way says that homosexuality is a sin. its a tragedy that the 18th and 19 century translators made the translations they did.. but they were english and lived under henry the eighth’s enacted law that made sodomy punishable by hanging for 300 years.(it was repealed in the late 1800′s)

    what i find unsettling is that this woman was making these pubic statements to private groups. but refuses to be confronted by the groups she maligned.

    this is not uncommon with those who hold these views. they have no personnal witness or knowledge of anyone homosexual, yet they give themselves license to say what are the motivatiomns or in the minds of anyone homosexual. in addition they whisper their beliefs among those who think the same, but absolutely refuse, to look those who are gay in the eye and speak these same beliefs to them in the light of day.

    how anyone can support kern’s behavior, an elected representative, who has representative responsibilities is beyond me.

  • Mary

    NIck,

    I agree with you. Some supported her. Not everyone. Tony Campolo has not.

    The loudest does not represent everyone.

  • Allan

    Warren and Nick R.,

    That’s the problem I have. I won’t say too, because I’ll be 54 in July and my anger goes far deeper than “mad”.

    There are a lot of gay people who would not automatically turn away the minute they hear the words “Christian” or “Christianity” or “evangelical” if those using those words’ actions and statements had anything to do with the words of Jesus of Nazareth, the inspiration for the religion.

    Instead, their words and actions have to do with personal wants for something like political donations and votes, moving up in their social circles, needing to feel superior, a lot of other things. Those words and actions certainly have the aura of the dust one might want to shake from one’s shoes rather than that of allowing Jesus to do what he wants to do in the lives of people who find themselves attracted to members of their own gender, etc.

    My anger passed rage a long time ago. It is pathological now, I know it and I’m taking medications and am being monitored by doctors because of it. I’ve been sober and clean since 1985 and celibate since I got healthy (1987), because I would repeatedly make bad choices in relationships based on my negative opinion of myself, even at my best. In other words, I’m admitting that even after my best efforts and years of therapy and work of all kinds, I cannot trust myself to treat myself as your equal. That’s my personal problem, I just felt like spilling my guts here a little bit, because Warren, whom I wouldn’t normally allow myself near, even his words, asked and I can answer tonight, right now, without swearing.

    A long time ago a phrase called “black rage” had a short shelf-life. Mine would be called “gay rage”. It’s a direct result of being worn down. I’m not going to magically become not gay, but I have become a lesser human being than I might be, or might have been, because I did not have the strength or whatever others use to cope with it and still thrive. I’ll own up to a certain mental weakness when it comes to dealing with over-stimulation and emotions, I have been disabled since 1982, officially “certified” with the nasty invisible disability known as mental illness(es).

    I’ve listening to anti-gay bias (I think that’s more accurate than “hate” sometimes) being used as an excuse for gay-bashing by everyone from elected officials to the Pope to the bullies in the schools and the parents who storm the school boards every couple of weeks over a book or a student-run club or any attempt by any of us to crawl up and out of the gutter so many find it necessary to kick us into whenever they get a chance.

    Any, any, any comment boards on the Internet which have anything to do, even tangentially, with gay people are heavy with the naked, exposed American hate (that’s more appropriate this time) of gay people which is encouraged by the likes of Sally Kern (only the latest), Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell’s televised blame-fest after 9/11/2001, James Hartline, Peter LaBarbera, Dobson, Concerned Women for America, and on and on. And these famous people do it with impunity, with no consequences for the most part, encouraging less famous people to do horrible things, to “us”.

    I have dealt with their hate for so long and it is so unrelenting that although I don’t admit it often, I have to admit that I have bought into a degree of it and must constantly fight against succumbing to despair and hopelessness. I don’t need their approval, but a moment or two of rest from them would be helpful. Some of that “love” demonstrated for us as human beings would be nice.

    The P-FLAG parents in the Pride Parades are always the most popular groups with the participants and their friends along the way, only because they are so rare.

    No one is trying to change your religious beliefs (well, I can’t speak for SoulForce, mostly because I disagree with their goals of doing just that, but even they are keeping mainly within their own religion and essentially lobbying the structure for acceptance).

    The rest of us want civil equality as promised by the Constitution. That is what the “gay agenda” is all about. Equality.

    I have to fight hard against giving up. But then another GLBT person is viciously murdered via overkill and horror, and I feel an obligation to at least keep trying even just to record these deaths for posterity, let alone do something about them. That’s beyond me now. I’m essentially agoraphobic, because I have a huge chip on my shoulder, and I’m just waiting for somebody to say something insulting, about anything, about me. I am invisible as a gay man so it’s not exactly fair, but I have the expectation and a sick kind of “I just hope you say something to me, so I can go off on you.” So I act responsibly and keep myself away from people.

    My sadness is not about being gay. It’s not caused by being gay. My sadness is about the way people treat us, treat me, even though they never mention my name. I have kinship with whatever happens to “my people” anywhere in the world, and let me tell you as someone who is keenly tuned in to what is happening to “us”, it’s a nasty, deadly, vicious, hate-filled world where gay people are concerned.

    We are the focus of so much hatred that people who do not feel this way have a big problem standing up for us even against the Fred Phelps’ of the world. They are unwilling to risk the “taint”. Phelps protested the funerals of many dozens of gay people for years without any of the “love the person” folks coming to stand between Phelps’ family cult and the mourning families, but when he started protesting “your” funerals of soldiers there comes a defense force each time. If you ask me, they should be ashamed of themselves for abandoning people they know are in need of real compassion.

    I’ve been sick of these kinds of things for DECADES. And I’m claiming here that some of this stuff is part of why I’m sick the way I am now.

    And now we have to have a little debate to decide if Sally Kern needs to apologize for calling her constituents in Oklahoma City of all places, and every gay person alive and dead worse than terrorists and many other insults, some dangerous.

    It’s not even seen as a double standard when the worse kind of slurs are stomped on immediately if they are slung at any other group of individuals but they are defended — with the Bible of all things — when they are pointed at my heart and fired with all the vigor any leering, sneering anti-gay religious supremacist of the “American Christian” variety can muster, in public. It’s humiliating, infuriating, and I’m fully aware of the fact that I’ll be dead of natural causes long before my life matters as much as yours.

    My opinion is that Sally Kern is a hopeless case, this is not her first anti-gay fest, it works for her politically as it does for so many others, so it doesn’t matter what we think she should do.

    Sorry for the length, I promise I won’t be haunting these boards.

  • http://www.newdirection.ca wendy

    Allan,

    I am deeply moved to hear your story. It causes me to groan within my spirit and cry out for a rediscovery of Jesus in the systems and structures and power centers of our world.

    As for Kern, I also don’t have any particular profile or podium, but I do NOT endorse anyone using biased, misinformed statements against a group of people created in the image of God as a political weapon to gain power.

    shalom.

  • Teri

    I am very glad to hear that Michael – but unfortunately the problem remains.

    Regarding the coming conflict between church and state:

    “It’s going to be a train wreck…a very dangerous train wreck. I don’t see anyone trying to stem the train wreck, or slow down the trains. “ – Marc Stern, American Jewish Congree

    and Chai Feldblum:

    “I’m having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win.” -Chai Feldblum, Georgetown Law professor

    Link

  • Teri

    Like Sally Kern, I too am extremely concerned about the effect the homosexual ‘rights’ movement is having on our society.

    Lesbian Georgetown law professor Chai Feldblum has admitted, in her legal brief for the Beckett Fund, that achieving what she and other homosexual and transgender activists view as ‘equal rights’ means the destruction of freedom for ‘religious’ people. She contends that it is a “zero-sum game”; a gain in rights for homosexuals constitutes a loss in rights for conservative people of faith. That seems to me to be a fool’s bargain but I applaud her honesty tremendously.

    Here’s a sampling of that loss of rights I have observed in just the last few years that causes me, and apparently Sally Kern, great concern:

    SWEDEN has amended its constitution to prohibit speech critical of homosexuals. One Christian pastor had to fight conviction for preaching against homosexuality all the way to the Swedish Supreme Court. Another has already served jail time.

    GREAT BRITAIN

    -Christians are starting to be rejected as foster and adoptive parents because of their beliefs regarding homosexuality.

    -An Anglican bishop in was fined the equivalent of $92,000 for refusing to hire a homosexual man as a Christian youth worker.

    -London police conducted a formal hate-crimes inquiry against a Christian pastor for his view that homosexuals can change their sexual orientation with therapy

    -Great Britain has just outlawed ‘hate speech’ against homosexuals. Violators can be sentenced up to seven years in prison.

    -In Great Britain after last April’s implementation of the Sexual Orientation Regulations (SOR’s), British religious schools are prohibited from teaching children that the Christian viewpoint on sexual morality is “objectively true.”

    CANADA

    -In Ontario, Canada, a mayor was fined $10,000 for refusing to declare “Gay Pride Week.”

    -A former pastor was hauled before a human rights commission over the course of five years, finally found guilty and fined for a hate crime because he wrote a letter to the editor, critical of the homosexual ‘rights’ agenda, and a homosexual kid was beaten up two weeks later. (The letter in no way advocated violence.) The pastor had to pay for his own defense but the legal costs of his homosexual accusers were paid for with tax dollars.

    -A printer was dragged into court and fined because he refused to print promotional materials for a homosexual activist organization. He lost the case and went out of business as a result of costs incurred.

    -Radio stations in Canada can no longer air Focus on the Family radio broadcasts that contain Biblical content regarding homosexuality, without risking large fines or losing their license.

    UNITED STATES

    -Eleven Christians, including a couple of grandmothers, were arrested under hate crimes law in Philadelphia for Christian witnessing at a GLBT event in the streets of Philadelphia.

    -In Illinois, Matt Barber was fired by Allstate Insurance for posting an opinion piece opposing same-sex marriage, on his own computer, on his own time.

    -Boston Catholic Charities Adoption Service was forced to close its doors after 100 years of good work. They simply could not comply with Massachussetts anti-discrimination law which requiring them to place children with homosexual couples.

    -In February a federal court ruled that schools can teach homosexuality without parental consent or choice to opt out. The Judge said good citizens must accept homosexuality in the name of “diversity.”

    - California public schools are now required to teach a positive message about homosexuality, bi-sexuality, and cross-dressing to students from Kindergarten through 12th grade. (This is not a law with which Christian parents or teachers can comply…)

    -A judge in CA just ruled that homeschool moms must be certified by the state to teach their children. (Options for Christian parents are being systematically shut down…)

    -A Christian photographer in New Mexico is being tried under state antidiscrimination laws for declining to photograph a same-sex “commitment ceremony.”

    There is more – much more. I haven’t even listed events from corporate America or public education but I think you get the point. If homosexual ‘rights’ activists get what they want it will become very difficult for Christians to live, work, raise our families and operate our ministries according to Biblical truth.

    Sally Kern is right in saying this is monumental. The freedom for Christians to LIVE according to Biblical truth regarding this issue is being systematically outlawed.

  • Michael Bussee

    Teri: Please be aware that not all gays or gay activists are in the same camp. I am Christian, gay, and have been called a gay activist. I certainly do not support laws to limit religious freedom. Not all gays have a gay agenda.

  • Allan

    Nice talking points memo you have there. Care to tell us the source?

    “Åke Green prepared the sermon last year, on what the Bible says about homosexuality, with the intention that the townspeople of Borgholm come to hear him. But attendance was disappointing. So Green had his sermon published in the local newspaper. In it, he compared the sin of Sweden to the sin of Sodom.

    And he warned, “…our country is facing a disaster of great proportions! Of that we can be sure. God said the land would vomit out its inhabitants…Our country is facing a disaster.”

    But it was how he described sexual practices like homosexuality that brought the charge against him:

    Green said, “What I said was that sexual abnormality was like a cancer of the society.”

    Or more precisely in English, a “cancerous tumor.”

    Sound familiar?

  • Teri

    Allan,

    It is my own research.

    Do you want all the sources or are there specific items of interest to you?

    Is it your opinion that Ake Green should not have had the freedom of speech to say what he did? That his subsequent arrest and prosecution were warranted?

  • Allan

    It is my opinion that Ake Green was subject to relatively new laws regarding what can and cannot be said against homosexuals in Sweden in the newspapers, under the Swedish laws of free speech which are different than ours. His arrest and prosecution were obviously very good for anti-gays, especially since he eventually won his case. He didn’t like the small number of people who chose to go to his church and chose to listen to his sermon, so he inflicted his vile comments on everyone, without their permission. That caught the attention of the lawmakers and prosecutors, not his poorly attended sermon in his church. He chose the medium, and he chose to risk what he did. He eventually won his case. He should have focused on gathering a greater audience of willing listeners if he wanted to avoid the cost of having to defend himself in the non-religious world against defamation of character, slander, etc. (the bit about gays being a “cancerous tumor” was not the only extremely inciteful language that he used in the newspaper). He was popular with Fred Phelps for a while, until he decided Fred was too far out there even for him. He won his case, and helped to clarify the new Swedish laws regarding incitement to violence against gays.

  • Teri

    Allan,

    I would still like to know:

    1. Do you think his arrest was justified?

    2. Is that the kind of legislation you would like to see here in the U.S?

  • Nick R

    Teri,

    It’s a total red herring. The Constitution of the United States guarantees the freedom of speech. That is why the KKK is allowed to speak their hatred of blacks, that is why neo-Nazis are allowed to speak their hatred of Jews, and that is why evangelicals are allowed to speak their hatred of gays.

    We are not in Sweden, we are not in Canada, we are not in England (unfortunately).

    Your argument is a red herring.

    it will become very difficult for Christians to live, work, raise our families and operate our ministries according to Biblical truth

    No, Teri, it won’t. It just means evangelicals will not be able to spread blatant lies about gays and openly discriminate against people simply because you don’t like them. You will be able to live, you will be able to work, you will be able to raise your families, and you will be able to operate your ministries according to your INTERPRETATION of the Bible. What you might have to do in the future, is be respectful to people for a change.

  • Michael Bussee

    Teri: I think I understand your apprehension and concern and I am also very troubled by the examples you gave. But I think I may have a bit more faith in our system of government and in the common sense and good will of the American people. We Americans are a tough, free-thinking and independent bunch. We don’t like mixing church and state.

    Of course, some (on both sides of this issue) will try and some will succeed — for a time — but in the end, we simply will not put up with any group (“Christian” or “gay”) trying to impose its will upon us or attempting to strip us of of our rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

    You said: “If homosexual ‘rights’ activists get what they want it will become very difficult for Christians to live, work, raise our families and operate our ministries according to Biblical truth.” You should have said, “if some homosexual rights activists get what they want…” because only the most extreme of “activists” want that.

    I sure don’t I think I am correct in saying that most gay people like me just want the same rights as the rest of our countrymen — nothing more, nothing less. “We” are your family, your sons and daughters, your friends, fellow church members, co-workers and neighbors. “We” really do want “you” to live according to your values and to exercise your rights — as long as “you” don’t try to take away “ours”.

    Maybe I am being overly optimistic, but I just don’t think it will happen. It’s too simplistic and too reactionary to make this “us versus them”. Please, keep in mind that there are millions of homosexuals in this country — and I would betcha that the vast majority of those gay folks share the same love of freedom — including religious freedom — as the rest of the country.

    I am Christian first, gay second — and I certainly do not support the kinds of anti-Christian discrimination you are describing. It is sad, but I often sense a kind of anti-gay hysteria that “gays” are trying to “outlaw” Christianity. Take heart. “We” don’t want to put “you” behind bars for loving Jesus.

    Many, many gays are Christians and love Jesus too. Heck, if you took all the gay people out of Sunday morning church services, the pulpits, the pews (and especially the choir loft) would have lots of empty spaces.

  • Allan

    1. He only won eventually because the Swedish Supreme Court (he had lost in lower courts in Sweden) chose not to have the case brought before whatever the European Union’s courts are called, because they felt he would win there, because the European Union is essentially Catholic.

    This is the relevant Swedish law:

    BRB 16:6 para.8 reads as follows:

    “8 para: Anyone who, through expression or other form of communication that is spread, threatens or expresses disrespect for a group of people or other such groups of persons with reference to race, color, national or ethnic origin, confession of faith or sexual orientation, is sentenced for instigation against a group of people to prison up to two years or, if the crime is minor, to fines.

    If the crime is major is sentenced to at least six months and up to four years in jail. In the determination of whether the crime is major, consideration shall be given to whether the message has had an especially threatening or offensive contents and whether the message has been spread to a great number of people in a way that is meant to generate considerable attention.”

    He won because of the religious background of his violation of this law. Absent that, he would have lost. He took advantage of the religious protection to violate the sexual orientation protection.

    Yes, the charges should have been brought. Yes, the lower Swedish courts were both right when they upheld the charges against him. Their Supreme Court did not say he shouldn’t have been charged, or that he didn’t violate Swedish law, they only said that the European Union court wouldn’t uphold the charges because of his insistence that he was basing his statements on his interpretation of his version of his Bible, and they were right that it wouldn’t.

    2. Unless you are willing to dump existing American laws protecting against discrimination and the defamation of other American citizens based on sex, race, color, national or ethnic origin, or chosen religion, then yes, “actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender” should be added to the same national laws which prohibit discrimination and defamation against you.

  • Michael Bussee

    Sorry, correction to the above. I meant to say: “I AM sure that I am correct in saying that most gay people, like me ,just want the same rights as the rest of our countrymen “

  • NickC

    I decided to do quick research on just one of the US cases cited by Teri as an example of free speech restrictions on Christians. I picked the first one, “Eleven Christians, including a couple of grandmothers, were arrested under hate crimes law in Philadelphia for Christian witnessing at a GLBT event in the streets of Philadelphia.”

    Just a couple of quick checks in Google revealed that Teri is grossly misrepresenting this case. The group arrested for “Christian witnessing at a GLBT event” were actually trying to disrupt a stage performance at a Gay Pride street fair with bullhorns and loud whistles. They were also blocking access to vendors at the fair. The police directed them to move to a position further up the street, where they would have been allowed to continue their protest without directly infringing on other people. They refused to move, which is when they were arrested.

    Subsequently, the charges against the protestors were dropped. However, they then filed suit against Philly Pride, the sponsor of the Outfest event, its director, and some of the police offices involved. That suit led to a federal district court decision that the festival organizers had the right to completely exclude a group like these protestors from the festival grounds. Teri might be interested to learn that the court’s decision was “primarily based on the United States Supreme Court’s holding in Hurley v Irish-American GLB Froup of Boston (1995) that a private organization could not be compelled to include a group of LGB de-scendants of Irish immigrants in their annual St. Patrick’s Day parade because the organizers had a right to exclude messages with which they did not agree. The Court recognized that it was essential to the protection of free speech rights to give an event organizer the right to shape the message of its event. ”

    In other words, the same rights that protect religious groups from having to include pro-homosexual messages in their events give gay groups the right to exclude religious protestors from our events.

    I’d recommend that anyone who wants further info on this one case cited by Teri read the Philly Pride press release explaining the court decision.

    http://phillypride.org/news5.html

    I don’t have the time or inclination to research all of the other examples Teri cites. But I think it’s clear that he is either deliberately exaggerating his cases, or merely parroting biased sources that don’t tell anywhere near the full story regarding these episodes.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Teri,

    Your behavior here is an example of why gay people do not trust conservative Christians.

    I am very familiar with most of what you listed as fact… and it simply isn’t true. All of your bullet points are distortions and some are downright lies. You claim end results when in fact the very opposite occured.

    Let me give but two small examples where you came here seeking to deceive:

    “arrested under hate crimes law in Philadelphia for Christian witnessing at a GLBT event in the streets of Philadelphia”

    The truth is that they were arrested for refusing to follow police commands resulting from their efforts to disrupt a gay event in a public park with bullhorns. But you know that most people are not sympathetic to those who seek to disrupt and use bullhorns to drown out a legal gathering in a park so instead you lie and say they were witnessing in the streets.

    Matt Barber was fired by Allstate Insurance for posting an opinion piece opposing same-sex marriage, on his own computer, on his own time

    Actually, Barber was fired for writing a homophobic rant on mensnewsdaily (…”the average life expectancy of a homosexual male is only about 45 years old”, etc.) in which he listed his Allstate position to bolster his credibility. But because most folks find it reasonable that a company would not want to be associated with hateful rants, you change the facts so as to try and bolster sympathy.

    I could go on. Almost everything you listed is untruthful.

    You claim that this is something you personally compiled. So you are fully responsible for knowingly coming here and baring false witness.

    Why?

  • Michael Bussee

    Here’s the trouble: Many “Christians” are afraid of and don’t like “gays”. Many “gays” are afraid of and don’t like “Christians” — and often for good reason. Truth is, many are both Chriistian and gay. Teri’s examples, quoted out of context, only serve to incite more fear and distrust — and widen the divide.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    I hope everyone can take a minute to breath…

    Bearing false witness is a strong claim Timothy. I suspect Teri really believes that these issues are germane to the Kern situation. Some of what she has listed is not accurate but some is and yet irrelevant to the main point of this post.

    If all of what she listed was true, would this add up to homosexuality is worse than terrorism?

    The free speech issues are different here so I do not think we have to worry about pastor’s being carted off for sermons. Fred Phelps is a free man as far as I know. If he can say his awful stuff and not go to jail, I don’t think we are Sweden or Canada.

    Gays are using the democratic process to further a civil rights program. This is how it works. Jerry Falwell said basic rights include housing and jobs. Basic services include what? Does it include right to get your picture taken? We shall soon see in a case mentioned above. However, I still do not see how this relates to my post.

    According to UnChristian we are losing a generation over the strident tone of rhetoric toward gays. Is this a good thing?

  • http://www.newdirection.ca wendy

    As a Canadian, who not only holds a conservative position on sexual ethics, but also leads an organization that addresses lgbt realities from a conservative Christ-centered perspective, I have not experienced any complaints or threats in relation to the hate crime legislation in Canada. Perhaps this is because I work very hard to nuance my language to reflect that I am not hateful towards gay and lesbian people, not seeking to coerce gay and lesbian people to believe what I believe, and not engaged in political matters. I would do this with or without the reality of the legislation – because I believe it is a response that most accurately represents the inclusive and welcoming nature of the ministry of Jesus. But for those less able or willing to do the hard work of wrestling with a manner to engage respectfully and redemptively with gay and lesbian people, perhaps it is not a bad thing for there to be a level of accountability for how they engage others with whom they share society.

    Particularly for those who name the name of Jesus ….. really ….. ought it be that we need legislation to compel us to speak in a manner that reflects love, gentleness, self-control, kindness ….. aren’t these the fruits of the Spirit that ought to be reflected in our engagement with any one including members of the lgbt community? If Christians were actually being Christ-like in their engagement on gay issues, perhaps these issues of legislation wouldn’t be before us.

    We are losing a generation in significant part due to the “strident tone of rhetoric toward gay people” ….. now is the time for Christ-followers to speak about the manner in which we communicate things we believe ….. in a manner that is actually winsome, attractive and invites people to experience the presence of Jesus. Christ-followers ought not be motivated by fear in their engagement with society ….. Rather, with a willingness to lose, a willingness to suffer, a willingness to die that Jesus modelled for us – we ought to be motivated by self-giving love as we engage the world – including how we engage on lgbt issues.

    Just what are we so afraid of? I’m in Canada…… and I am not afraid. I am emboldened to love more outrageously ….. even at the risk of people like Sally Kern considering me to be a heretic.

  • Michael Bussee

    Nope. Very bad thing. Warren asked: “If all of what she listed was true, would this add up to homosexuality is worse than terrorism?”

    Hardly. Terrorism is arbitrary and cruel. There is is no respect for life, law or individual rights. A bomb can go off anywhere. Kern’s comparison is absurd. Whatever their “agenda”, gay rights activists are not terrorists.

    Here, in America, any proposed reforms, legisation or limitations on personal liberties or religious freedom must proceed through a complicatred system of checks and balances, court hearings, commitee meetings, endless debates, votes, etc.

    You can overturn a bad law. You cant re-materialize the World Trade Center — or un-explode a bomb.

  • Dave Garrecht

    Wow! Bloggers sure multiply! Let me just respond to a few who have addressed my position on Kern’s stance:

    Michael Bussee (Mar. 24)

    You quote Ezekial 16:49 “Now this was the sin of your [Jerusalem’s] sister Sodom. She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. But you omitted the very next verse which says that instead “Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me.”

    So what do you suspect these “abominations” were? Besides Leviticus 18:22, note Jude 7: In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion…”

    Chuck A.

    Actually same-sex pairs sharing a household and caring for one another are labeled “gay” in today’s culture, but they themselves admit that they don’t identify themselves as such. Nor do they engage in sodomy or any sexual perversions, since their relationship is not sexual.

    You’re right, a monogamous, tested and faithful couple will not likely contract any STDs; do you know any such people within the gay community? I surely don’t.

    No, but the gay agenda is to make acceptance of homosexuality compulsory; what percentage can a normal population accommodate before reaching a tipping point?

    Tim K (also Mary):

    You seem to be hoping that Kern will disappear. In her speech she does mention the books she has read (especially the Bible, + several others) from which she has drawn her information. Why should she apologize for repeating what most of us agree with?

    John R:

    Current authorized translations (not just the KJV) of the Bible from the original Hebrew and Greek (and Aramaic) do indeed identify homosexual behavior as grossly unacceptable to God, along with other human behaviors that are identified as “sin.” If you read Greek, see I Corinthians 6:9 –the words regarding homosexual participants are what some today call “tops” and “bottoms.” Also please note that they are only two among a longer list of “sinners.” The read verse 11, which implies that these were transformed, changed, when they became regenerate followers of Christ Jesus. Former homosexuals today attest to the same transforming power.

    Regarding bullying, violence, or physical persecution of gays, that is not what I see being taught in the New Testament. The worst it does is recount the consequences of their own behavior. But the Good News is that change is possible. Being GLBT is no one’s immutable destiny.

  • Michael Bussee

    Wendy said: “If Christians were actually being Christ-like in their engagement on gay issues, perhaps these issues of legislation wouldn’t be before us.

    Once again, Wendy hits the nail on the head! Wendy also remarked: ” I work very hard to nuance my language to reflect that I am not hateful towards gay and lesbian people, not seeking to coerce gay and lesbian people to believe what I believe, and not engaged in political matters. I would do this with or without the reality of the legislation – because I believe it is a response that most accurately represents the inclusive and welcoming nature of the ministry of Jesus”

    Wow! Wouldn’t it be great if EXODUS and other Christian organizations adopted such a stance? You just might win a generation instead of losing it.

  • Teri

    OK guys. Here’s a video of the that incident.

    You can judge for yourself. The guys in pink are the homosexual activists.

    I have no wish to deceive or in any way misrepresent the truth. There is no need to exaggerate. If you don’t agree with my assessment of the Philly 11 incident I’ve got 16 other examples…

    Alan, you have made my point for me. If I understand what you have said, you would see our freedom of speech destroyed in order to silence dissent. I would submit to all of you that there is a tremendous distinction between discrimination on the basis of an unchangeable characteristic and discrimination on the basis of behavior. I cannot consider homosexuality an ‘orientation’ any more than I can consider someone who cheats on their spouse to have an ‘adulterous orientation’ or people who lie to have a ‘dishonest orientation…’ I don’t believe homosexual behavior falls into a special category.

    As a Christian, I reserve the right to discriminate against what I believe God has revealed to be sinful behavior. In fact, I MUST do so (not in all circumstances, but clearly in some…) I also reserve the right to speak what I believe is the truth about it.

    Allan, you want see laws passed that would force Christians to abandon traditional Biblical values and adopt YOUR values. This we cannot do. In the words of Peter, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. ”

    Michael, you say you are a Christian yet you apparently have an unbiblical confidence in the nature of mankind. All things being equal, people do not choose the high road. We choose the easy road. We are sinners, therefore we sin. I think there is enough evidence in Germany the last century alone to make my case for me that we ought not put our trust in the goodness of man…

    I stand with Sally Ken in my sincere concern about the serious threat posed by the homosexual ‘rights movement to fundamental freedom .

  • Michael Bussee

    Dave G. I didn’t overlook the verse about Sodom. I maintain that being “arrogant, overfed and unconcerned”, and not “helping the poor and needy” are glaring examples ot being “haughty” and are indeed “abominations” before God.

    Injustice is an abomination. So is lack of compassion for the poor, the vulnerable and the needy among us. Sodom was destoyed for generalized wickedness and “abominations” — not homosexuality. If anything, the Sodom story seems to be referring to gang rape. It looks like he mob would have been just as happy raping women.

    You then boldly assert that the passage in First Corinthians clearly refers to what we would today call “tops” and “bottoms”. How can you be so sure? (And besides which, not all gays are “tops” or “bottoms”.) Fact is, words change in their meaning over time, between groups of people and across languages.

    To be fair, 2000 years after he wrote it, we cannot be sure exactly what Paul meant. The words he used are not altogether clear. He is condmening something, but what? It seems Paul may have coined one of the terms and that he may be referring to the practice of using boys as sex toys for the rich and indulgent. It is not so black and white. There is legitimate debate among biblical scholars as to what these passages actually mean.

  • http://peoplecanchange.com steve florida

    Michael Bussee ~ Mar 24, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Could Dave G. give us a few examples to support the “truth” of Kern’s assertion that homosexualilty is “the biggest threat even, that our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam”?

    Maybe this will bring it into perspective David.

    Twenty-Five Years of HIV/AIDS — United States, 1981–2006

    David, In 2006, more than 1 million persons are living with HIV/AIDS in the United States, and an estimated 40,000 new HIV infections are expected to occur this year – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    AIDS has led to the deaths of more than 25 million people since it was first recognized in 1981, making it one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history. Despite recent improved access to antiretroviral treatment and care in many regions of the world, the AIDS epidemic claimed approximately 2.1 million (between 1.9 and 2.4 million) lives in 2007. – Wikipedia

    I think her comparison to terrorism had negative connotations and was unnecessary, however her point was clearly made that more Americans have dies, and continue to die from AIDS related illnesses compared to those who have lost their lives as a result of terrorism on US soil.

    The solution is not to find some miracle cure, but to refrain from the behavior that has caused this pandemic in the first place.

  • Teri

    Michael,

    Have you ever considered the scholarship of Rob Gagnon on this subject?

    Link

  • Michael Bussee

    Teri: I dont just say I am a Christian> I am one. I am His child, saved by His blood, just as you are. And I I don’t have an “unbiblical confidence in the nature of mankind”. Quite the contrary! Humans are a mess! I know that Jesus died for us because we are (all) sinners.

    What I do believe in is the redemptive potential of man. I believed Jesus died for something valuable and precious. I also believe in our system of government. I am not afraid, as you seem to be, that the wicked gay activists have mighty power, will undo the Consitution and the Bill of Rights and, if unchallenged, will conquer and dominate the helpless “Christians”.

    Gays are not out to persecute Christians or outlaw their religion. Why would we want to jail ourselves or take away our own rights? The point you seem to be missing is that many, many gays are Christian. Why do you insist on this false “us” versus “them” dichotomy?

  • Michael Bussee

    Teri: I have considered what he has to say. I did not come to my beliefs lightly or without much serious prayer and study. The point is, that there are sincere, Bible-believing, born-again Christians and scholars who disagree on these passages. Is it possible, just possible, that you may be wrong?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Steve – the restraint in Africa would be what? AIDS is not solely an American problem. We need to focus on behavior and not attraction, in my view. Promiscuous behavior is risky, whether a gay person or straight person is engaging in it. Having said that, how does what you pointed out relate to Kern’s statements?

    What public policy measures would you implement if you adopted the stance that homosexuality is worse than terrorism?

  • Teri

    Michael,

    I am certain to be wrong about a lot of things. When I find out what they are I will certainly change my mind. (I’m smiling as I say that…)

    I won’t argue the homosexuality/Bible issue with you because I certainly cannot make a stronger argument than Rob Gagnon and you have already considered his scholarship.

    I will, however, take you up on your other point. 99% of the people pushing this agenda and making our laws and public policy are NOT redeemed. The Bible tells us that they are blind to the truth.

    The Bible and history shows us that we as human beings are capable of rationalizing even the most hideous of sin against our fellow human beings. The destruction of religious, speech, association and conscience liberty is nothing compared to some of the things that have been done and justified by supposedly civilized societies. Slavery comes to mind. Remember the Dred Scott decision?

    I predict that the destruction of freedom for Christians will in fact be applauded by people who are convinced that it is justified in the quest for ‘equal rights’ for LGBT persons. Remember the Chai Feldblum quote? She cannot think of any circumstance in which religious freedom should win. She is a professor of law at Georgetown training the brightest young legal minds…

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Tim K (also Mary):

    You seem to be hoping that Kern will disappear. In her speech she does mention the books she has read (especially the Bible, + several others) from which she has drawn her information. Why should she apologize for repeating what most of us agree with?

    Dave,

    You may be surprised to find that “most of us” do NOT agree with Sally Kern. Here’s some polling data.

    According to Gallup, since 2004 a majority of Americans think that homosexuality is “an acceptable alternative lifestyle”.

    And the Barna Group found that only one-third of Americans said they were significantly concerned about “activists” (35%) and the same proportion felt “lifestyles” (35%) were of major concern.

    And a poll by the Center for American Progress found that only 3% listed homosexuality as the most serious moral crisis in America today.

    So clearly most Americans disagree with Mrs. Kern that homosexuality is worse than terrorism. As for equality issues, she’s in the minority there too.

    The Pew Research Center reports that since 2004, more people favor civil unions than oppose them. And a number of polls agree that about 55% of Americans favor either marriage equality or civil unions (Fox News says 60%).

    In 2007, Gallup found that 89% of Americans favor reversing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and that 68% are in favor of including gay folks in hate crimes laws.

  • Teri

    Nick,

    Have I been disrespectful?

    Is it really a red herring?

    More:

    -Boston Catholic Charities – forced to close down after 100 year of adoption work because they would not place children with same-sex couples.

    -Boy Scouts of America – punished for requiring a heterosexual standard for scout leaders.

    More than two dozen chapters of United Way have cut off funding for the Scouts, and at least 359 school districts comprising over 4000 schools across 10 states have taken action against them despite the fact that the Supreme Court upheld their right as a private organization to set their own standards for leadership.

    -California public schools now required to teach a positive message about homosexuality to children K-12. That is not a low a faithful Christian can comply with, either as a teacher or a parent. What are our options? Not homeschooling…

    A judge just ruled that parents must be certified in the state of CA in order to homeschool their own children.

    I suppose Christian public school teachers will either have to quit or be fired. They certainl cannot comply with this law in good conscience.

    -I look across the pond where you seem to think it’s wonderful and see that speech critical of homosexual behavior can be punished by up to 7 years in prison! Do you understand that? 7 years for speech…

    I bet the British thought their freedoms were protected too.

    I’m not sure how many more examples you need.

  • Michael Bussee

    Teri: I find it very sad that you actually believe that there will be a “destruction of freedom for Christians“, that it is somehow inevitable — and that this horrible outcome”will be applauded” and “justified” by those who believe in equal rights for LGBT persons. What monsters you must think we are! What’s next? Feeding you to lions? I certainly would not want to live in your head. It must be a very scary place. indeed.

    It won’t happen. If “gays” deny “Christians” their freedoms, they deny their own. What good would that do? Too many Christians, too many people of all faiths, both gay and straight, simply will not let it happen. Most people (I would guess 99%) whether they are “redeemeed” or not, want a just and free society and they will vote for it, demonstrate for it — even die for it. It may take a lot of blood, sweat and tears, but unjust laws can, and often are, reversed. Slavery was abolished, remember?

    It’s not this “gays” versus “Christian” doomsday scenrario that you imagine and fear. Remember: Gays ARE Christian, and Jewish, and Muslim, and… We are people of faith, too. Gays want religious freedom as much as you do.

    We do not want “special” rights. Just the same rights as straight people. I want to know that I cannot legally be fired to being gay OR Christian. I want free speech regarding my sprituality and my sexuality, I want to be free to form a civil union with the adult, consenting partner of my choice — and I don’t even care if it’s called “marriage”. Straights have made quite a mess of that…

    I want to live in a society where I do not have to worry that I will be knifed in the back in a public parking lot — for being gay OR Christian. I happy to say that I am not frightened. What you fear will never happen. Religious freedom AND equal rights will both win because “gay” and “Christian” people really want the same thing and will work for the same thing — life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That it what our society is about.

  • Teri

    Timothy and Dave,

    FYI the CDC has recently reported that 71% of HIV infections in the United States are the result of MSM.

    Link

    Dave, you are correct in your assessment that the majority of Americans don’t consider the LGBT rights movement a problem. However, truth is not determined by majority opinion.

  • http://peoplecanchange.com steve florida

    Dave Garrecht – “We’re talking about behavior, not people. Being a “homosexual” is similar to being a “smoker” –it’s what you do, not who you are. It’s also a matter of conviction –and convictions can change. It does not and never has fit the Supreme Court’s definition of a “suspect” (discriminated against) class of people”.

    David Roberts – “An inaccurate statement along with an opinion I don’t share. There seems to be little of substance here to discuss.”

    And why is this an inaccurate statement David Roberts? – simply because you don’t share his opinion? I don’t suppose you have any bias running the XGW website, do you? So if you hear something you don’t like, you just dismiss it and claim “There seems to be little of substance here to discuss”.

    Well I share his “opinion” and I think there is plenty of substance worthy of discussion. When I stopped thinking of myself as “homosexual”, my thoughts and behavior changed. When my convictions changed, so did I. Maybe that didn’t work for you, but it has for many others. Stop being so unyielding about considering the validity of others opinions, and brushing them off simply because it didn’t apply to you personally

  • NickC

    Teri-

    I followed your link. Do you seriously believe that video shows a group of Christians being persecuted for quietly giving witness to their beliefs? Imagine a pro-gay group forcing their way into a Love Won Out conference with bullhorns and giant pink angels. Not protesting outside the event, mind, but insisting on entering the event itself. I can imagine the screams of outrage at how gay activists were trampling you poor persecuted Christians.

    Fortunately, the courts in this country are intent in protecting everyone’s rights–not just the rights of Christian extremists determined to spread a message of hate. (The federal district court that ruled against the Repent America lawsuit describes the “loving witness” of these protestors–”incendiary language, including remarks that ‘Jesus Christ’s blood was not HIV positive’ and ‘that one transgendered participate would ‘go to hell.’ “) As I noted before, the courts found that the same legal protections allowing a St Patrick’s Day parade to exclude gay marchers on ground of the organizers’ religious beliefs also allows gay events to exclude those who come with a hostile message.

    In either case, people with a contrary view are free to voice their opinions and protests outside the event. But the organizers of an event have a right to set limits on speech and behavior within the event itself.

    It seems to me that by your definition, Teri, religious freedom necessarily includes freedom to harrass and disrupt other people pursuing their own constitutional rights. In that case, I agree with Chai Feldblum that I cannot think of any case where your definition of religous freedom should prevail.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Teri,

    I will, however, take you up on your other point. 99% of the people pushing this agenda and making our laws and public policy are NOT redeemed. The Bible tells us that they are blind to the truth.

    Again with the bald accusations that are not based in truth. You know NOTHING about the faith of gay people. Nothing whatsoever.

    Yet you arrogantly make accusations.

    Warren suggested that “bearing false witness” might be too strong an accusation. But I ask, what does that phrase mean?

    If it means someone who goes out proclaiming to know the truth, and declaring themself to be in possession of knowledge,but then presents that which is false, biased, slanted, or inaccurate… well then you do fit that description. It isn’t enough to believe your own claims, you need to know them to be true before you claim authority.

    I am not in possession of figures on the faith of gay people. I would suspect that the majority – even the majority of those who were raised in Christian faith – are so disgusted with the vileness of “Christianity” (like the lies told about them here, for example) that they can only see it as an evil religion that sets out to harm others.

    Yet there is a rather large minority that can overlook the hostility that “Christians” show them and still look to God.

    I don’t know how big that minority is, but I do know that BY FAR the largest participants in the Los Angeles pride parade are churches. And I believe that to be true in most places.

    Gaychurch.org lists about 100 chuches in the Los Angeles area alone that are welcoming of gay people. And there are gay Christians from Sheridan, Wy to Duson, LA to Redding, CA to Alfred, ME.

    When you talk about 99% of “people pushing this agenda” not being redeemed, you are maligning hundreds of thousands if not millions of gay believers.

  • Michael Bussee

    Teri: You said “Truth is not determined by majority opinion.” I gues not. It seems like you believe it is determined by you.

  • Allan

    Teri said, Alan, you have made my point for me. If I understand what you have said, you would see our freedom of speech destroyed in order to silence dissent. I would submit to all of you that there is a tremendous distinction between discrimination on the basis of an unchangeable characteristic and discrimination on the basis of behavior. I cannot consider homosexuality an ‘orientation’ any more than I can consider someone who cheats on their spouse to have an ‘adulterous orientation’ or people who lie to have a ‘dishonest orientation…’ I don’t believe homosexual behavior falls into a special category.”

    You certainly do not understand what I said. I choose to believe it is willful mis-understanding. No gay person, especially, would ever say that they wanted anyone’s Constitutional rights “destroyed in order to silence dissent.” You can’t restrict anyone else’s rights without restricting your own. Get it? You can say your religion says whatever you want and you will only be subject to the natural blowback caused by your own mouth, as Fred Phelps proves every day. Sally Kern did not couch all of her lies as biblical, she insisted her “truth” was coming from verifiable studies which she cannot produce, she insisted on lying about individuals: an easily identifiable “gay teacher two doors down the hall from her” while she was teaching, for example, and insisted he was destroying children’s minds in order to advance the “gay agenda”. That is not legal. There are many laws against defamation of character in the legal sense of libel and slander, and no one has the right to incite anyone to violence against others, which is where this is all headed, inevitably, and why it is seen as a huge problem by gay people.

    Your “submission” that there is a “tremendous distinction between discrimination on the basis of an unchangeable characteristic and discrimination on the basis of behavior” omits, as always, the fact that protected religious behavior is the only protected category which is chosen, selected, and easily and frequently changed.

    Teri said, I cannot consider homosexuality an ‘orientation’ any more than I can consider someone who cheats on their spouse to have an ‘adulterous orientation’ or people who lie to have a ‘dishonest orientation…’ I don’t believe homosexual behavior falls into a special category.

    You “cannot consider,” you “don’t believe.” Legally, your opinion is worthless as a defense of anything. It is your opinion, you’re entitled to it, but it means nothing when it comes to you being able to dictate to me how I can live my free life in this nation. Your conflation of being gay with adultery and lying is nothing more than parrot-talk of the worst anti-gay bigots who have also compared it to pederasty, bestiality, and all sorts of whatnot. You, and they, are stooping to more defamation of my character in order to defend your defamation of my character.

    Teri said, As a Christian, I reserve the right to discriminate against what I believe God has revealed to be sinful behavior. In fact, I MUST do so (not in all circumstances, but clearly in some…) I also reserve the right to speak what I believe is the truth about it.

    You reserve the right to discriminate against sinful behavior? That’s impossible, you can only discriminate against people. Human beings. Gay people have lives, not “lifestyles” just as hets have lives, not lifestyles. You can discriminate against anyone you want, but if you break laws doing it, don’t expect any court in in any jurisdiction where anti-discrimination laws exist to allow you to get away with it, except in your church, and only if you are not engaged in a government supported activity associated with that church. That’s the whole gist of giving to Caesar what is Caesar’s, etc. It’s called respect for the laws of the land. You are not exempt just because you disagree with the law. And remember, we’re not talking about free speech now, we’re talking about discrimination (housing, work, etc.) and yes, I know that gays are not protected from deeply misinformed people such as yourself in all jurisdictions yet.

    Teri said, Allan, you want see laws passed that would force Christians to abandon traditional Biblical values and adopt YOUR values. This we cannot do. In the words of Peter, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. ”

    Nothing I could ever imagine having passed as laws protecting me and mine would ever “force Christians to abandon” anything, or “adopt” anything. Adding sexual orientation (which would include yours, by the way) to existing laws has to be approved by the representatives of the people. The people who are overwhelmingly het and Christian. These laws have already been passed in some places, by representatives who are overwhelmingly het and Christian. It is OUR values which are being honored. It is America’s Constitution which is being interpreted by judges (majority het and Christian) appointed by that majority of het and Christian representatives elected by a majority of het and Christian voters. So if you think anyone is actually going to “force” you to become a more accepting person when it comes to your fellow Americans whom you do not agree with, I suggest you look a lot closer to home.

    The video proves that the anti-gay religious protesters without permits to protest there were on a piece of public land which the gay people had paid for permits to use on that day, and the law which they violated was the same law which keeps getting gay people arrested if they interfere with the St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York City. They were clearly violating the space which temporarily belonged to the gay people putting on the Pride Festival, a commercial and educational event. They clearly refused to obey the direct commands of the police, they clearly refused to cooperate with police instructions (even after being told that their complaints belonged in a civil court and were not about to be debated there in the street), they were clearly warned and they chose to be arrested. Slam dunk.

    Your original list is bunk. Some of the items have been addressed here by others, and I am saying the rest can just as easily be dismissed as propaganda and lies, wherever you got them. They are sucker bait sold by Republicans to Christian supremacists under the guise of detailing the nonexistent “threat” posed by my presence on this planet. “Send us money so we can protect you! Trust us! You know you want to! You know you need us! God told me to tell you this!”

  • Mary

    Teri,

    I am an ex gay female. Not everyone can change and the science is not clear how much of sexuality is nature or nurture. I understand your view – that you see homosexuality as a behavior. In that respect so is drinking soda, or water, or beer. But no one is telling you which one to drink. Telling a homosexual to behave like a hetersexual is like telling you to behave like a homosexual. I doubt that is something you can do – even if you tried.

    As a christian I am aware of your view on the biblical definition of men and women and sexuality. I am sorry to say that other people read the bible in quite a different way. And that is freedom of religion in this country.

    The biggest threat to christianity are those who claim to be christian and don’t live as though they are and then demand that others follow their ways. You cannot impose christianity – this is an instruction of God.

  • Dave Garrecht

    Michael,

    It really takes a lot of convoluted exegesis to try to undo the Bible’s clear statements about the wrongness of homosexual conduct. This is called revisionist interpretation. It’s initial assumption is that the Bible is wrong about homosexuality. But it doesn’t work, except for those who for personal reasons want it to.

  • Teri

    Questions:

    Should Christian adoption agencies be allowed to discriminate against placing children with same-sex couples?

    Should public schools deliberately teach children a positive message about homosexuality?

    Should a photographer (of any stripe) be allowed to refuse a job taking photos of a civil union ceremony?

    Should a church be forced to rent property to a couple for a civil union ceremony?

    Should the Boy Scouts be punished for having a heterosexual standard for scout leaders?

    Should Christian schools be allowed to discriminate against homosexual teachers?

    Should a corporate worker lose his/her job for refusing to promote ‘Coming Out Day’ to his or her employees?

    Should ‘speech’ critical of homosexuality but not specifically promoting violence be against the law?

    These questions are all based on real events that have already occurred. Your answers to them reveal whether or not you REALLY believe in freedom of religion, conscience, association and speech…

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Dave Garrecht and Teri,

    I find it pointless to argue on a website about whose interpretation of Scripture is correct. We can debate the selection of specific Greek words (or, in reality, the coining of a word) by Paul and try to stretch the context this way or that. We can quote Boswell or Gagnon (who recently decided that the Roman Centurian was neither Roman nor a Centurian). We can make whatever comparison to other “abominations” from shellfish to fabric fibers or argue that condemnations were about temple prositution or just about anything else that we like.

    But ultimately there is only one thing upon which we can agree: Scripture is not clear on this issue. Different scholars have come to different conclusions. And to disagree is not either an indication of ill will or of self-justification.

    So there’s no point in debating that here.

    But we can debate the accuracy of claims made. And we can observe whether it is Christian to malign and slander. And we can ask why Christians say things that if said about anyone else would be considered hateful.

    And eventually we can get around to understanding why so very very many Americans, particularly the youth, have come to believe that Christianity is more interested in attacking and destroying gay people than it is in showing Christ’s love to a hurting world.

  • Allan

    Should Christian adoption agencies be allowed to discriminate against placing children with same-sex couples?

    They aren’t forced to do anything, they choose to declare that they will not participate in those adoptions and if they are using public money in a place where such discrimination is illegal, they must not discriminate. If they choose to continue to discriminate and cannot afford their adoption business with their own money, they choose to close down rather than run it with their own money under their own religious rules. And to hell with the children is the behavior they choose.

    Should public schools deliberately teach children a positive message about homosexuality?

    Public schools in California are not mandated to teach a positive message about minority sexual orientation, they are prohibited from teaching negative messages about minority sexual orientation.

    Should a photographer (of any stripe) be allowed to refuse a job taking photos of a civil union ceremony?

    In this case, it was illegal for him as a businessman to tell the couple that he would not take them as customers because they are gay. If he had declined to take them as customers and left it at that, he would have done no wrong. But he chose to tell them he was discriminating against them for that reason in a place where such discrimination is illegal.

    Should a church be forced to rent property to a couple for a civil union ceremony?

    If they rent the property to the public, or advertise it publicly, and it is illegal to discriminate against people because they are gay in that place, they do not have to rent to them, they can choose to violate the law, tell them they are discriminating against them because they are gay, and pay the penalty. They can choose not to honor man’s law, they can refuse to rent to them, and they can deal with the public’s agreed-upon penalties.

    Should the Boy Scouts be punished for having a heterosexual standard for scout leaders?

    The Boy Scouts have chosen to be identified as a religious organization all the way to the Supreme Court. They have won the right to discriminate against gays and atheists. They do not then have the right to public funds in places where that discrimination is illegal. Companies which have policies in place against anti-gay discrimination can choose not to reward that discrimination, because they are not religious organizations. The Boy Scouts still enjoy the illegal benefits of a special beneficial relationship with many public entities, despite the fear-mongering of those who like to make money from defending discrimination against gay and atheist boys. The Girl Scouts have no such discrimination and are doing just fine, as are the full range of girls who belong to that organization.

    Should Christian schools be allowed to discriminate against homosexual teachers?

    Christian schools do discriminate against gay teachers, and more often against gay students. That will not change and any gay teacher who complains that a discriminatory religious school discriminated against them is just plain silly. What did they expect? This is not so simple when we are talking about kids being humiliated at religious schools for being gay, except that they are treated as pawns by those promoting the anti-gay agenda.

    Should a corporate worker lose his/her job for refusing to promote ‘Coming Out Day’ to his or her employees?

    They don’t get fired for not promoting a company approved event such as Coming Out Day, they get fired for saying that others should not participate because gays are lesser human beings. And yes, if the company decides they don’t want people working for them who can’t keep their nasty mouth shut when it comes to corporate policy toward gay people, they have the right to fire them.

    Should ’speech’ critical of homosexuality but not specifically promoting violence be against the law?

    Speech “critical” of gay people which is broad in nature and not directed at specific people or identifiable groups of gay people has never been found to be illegal in the U.S.A. (as long as it does not specifically promote violence against them.

    These questions are all based on real events that have already occurred. Your answers to them reveal whether or not you REALLY believe in freedom of religion, conscience, association and speech.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Should Christian adoption agencies be allowed to discriminate against placing children with same-sex couples?

    Yes… but with exceptions.

    Not with public funds, ever. And not if they don’t also discriminate based on religion.

    In other words, if a Catholic institution places kids only with observing Catholics, fine. But if they place kids with with Baptists and Jews and athiests, then they can’t magically find some religious reason to exclude gays. Then it’s clear the objection is not religious at all.

    Should public schools deliberately teach children a positive message about homosexuality?

    Public schools should teach factual messages about homosexuality. For example, it is relevant to the story of Michealangelo and Leonardo da Vinci that they were homosexual.

    Also in discussing institutionalized discrimination in civics classes it’s relevant. For example, it is important to note that after Alan Turing helped the Allies win the war (by deciphering the German Enigma machine) he was dishonorably discharged for being gay. It is worth teach that gays and lesbians were in concentration camps along with Jews, gypsies, Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses and others.

    Further, schools are a setting in which tolerance should be taught. Tolerance for Southern Baptists and Muslims, for white and black and brown, for gay and straight, for those who are unlike us.

    And if we observe that someone is being targeted for bullying for ANY reason, that particular reason should be targeted for tolerance. As one of the greatest reasons for bullying currently is for real or perceived sexual orientation, that should be a targeted area for anti-bullying efforts.

    Until kids like Lawrence King are no longer shot in the head, tolerance for gays needs to be taught.

    Should a photographer (of any stripe) be allowed to refuse a job taking photos of a civil union ceremony?

    An individual should be able to refuse.

    Huge corporate institutions like Olan Mills, nope.

    Should a church be forced to rent property to a couple for a civil union ceremony?

    They should not be forced to rent a church property.

    But if they offer non-religious commercial space (say a building or pavilion) to non-church members, they can’t magically decide that gays are the only folks they don’t rent to for new-found religious reasons. So special property tax exemptions that they might receive because they are “a place open to all members of the public” certainly can’t be received if they are not, in actuality, open to all member of the public.

    And frankly, if you allow other secular ceremonies or religious marriages that are in direct opposition to your religious doctrine, don’t come telling me that gay ceremonies are an insult to your faith.

    Principles aren’t really principles if you only find them when opposing gay folk.

    Should the Boy Scouts be punished for having a heterosexual standard for scout leaders?

    Punished by whom? Not by the government.

    But those who find discrimination abhorent sure shouldn’t give money to discriminators. Which is what happened with the United Way.

    You see, gay people tend to be very involved in charity. They give a lot and they contribute a lot of time. So the gay folk that gave to the United Way – and their coworkers and friends – decided that the Boy Scouts could do without their dollars. And those business who respect their gay employees were equally offended and decided not to participate as long as their money was going to fund anti-gay discrimination.

    And those cities that don’t believe in discrimination could hardly justify to their citizens that a group which only allowed white folks (golf courses) or only allowed men (social clubs) or only allow heterosexuals (the Boy Scouts) should be subsidized by all taxpayers. So, of course, San Diego and Berkeley stopped providing free rent to a group that excluded part of their residents.

    Should Christian schools be allowed to discriminate against homosexual teachers?

    Yes

    Should a corporate worker lose his/her job for refusing to promote ‘Coming Out Day’ to his or her employees?

    If company policy is that he is to inform his employees of a company event, he has no religious right to thwart the programs of the company. Companies have the right to target-market various communities, including the gay community, and to try and get their business. Any employee that makes such efforts impossible is not a good employee.

    If I had an employee that decided that he doesn’t support Christianity so he wasn’t going to tell his workers about getting the afternoon off for Good Friday, he’d be unemployed. The same with one who decided that he wasn’t going to “promote” the Black Employees Caucus or the day care facility. Or Coming Out Day.

    Should ’speech’ critical of homosexuality but not specifically promoting violence be against the law?

    No.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Should a photographer (of any stripe) be allowed to refuse a job taking photos of a civil union ceremony?

    In this case, it was illegal for him as a businessman to tell the couple that he would not take them as customers because they are gay. If he had declined to take them as customers and left it at that, he would have done no wrong. But he chose to tell them he was discriminating against them for that reason in a place where such discrimination is illegal.

    Well actually that’s not the case. We don’t know if anything illegal was done.

    There has only been a hearing meeting. The Hearing Officer has not yet made a recommendation. Then, the Commission will have to either accept or reject that recommendation.

  • Mary

    Teri,

    If the adoption agency recieves NO money or TAX BENEFITS from the state or government – then yes they should be able to decline adoption to whomever

    Schools should teach a positive message about people and respect for differences. And if you disagree – put your children in private schools with your particular belief system.

    If a corporation refuses to support Coming Out Day then they must be equal in celebration or lack thereof of all beliefs and political statements.

    And speech that does not incite violence or violent acts against homosexuals is allowed. (Yelling fire in a crowded theatre where an individual gets harmed in any way is means for criminal prosecution – still – and has been for a long time)

    And a church – so long as there are other churches (who will believe otherwise) and it is in their belief statments clear and apparant for everyone to follow – can refuse a civil union marriage.

    Yes my opinion is that a photographer should be allowed to refuse service – that is still being decided (a lawsuit is not a legal decision)

    If a christisna school recieves NO money or TAX BENEFITS from the state or government then they should be allowed to discriminate. They can also demand that the homosexual teacher (who may be celibate or ex gay but still has homosexual feelings) refrain from teaching that homosexuality is right in God’s eyes and that she not behave that way. ( I highly doubt a teacher would accept those terms of employment)

    And I see your point – we are all taxpayers. And it’s not right that some of my money is being used in ways I deplore. But is is. And gay issues is certainly not at the top of my list.

  • Teri

    Thank you all for your thoughtful opinions. It has been an interesting conversation today.

    From your answers, it seems that you GENERALLY believe that individuals should have the right to discriminate against homosexual behavior but the government and large corporations should not. In other words, you mostly believe that the law, corporate policy, public policy and everything paid for with tax dollars should reflect your values and not mine.

    That is, of course, to be expected. What we all need to understand is that the law cannot be neutral. All laws reflect someone’s morality. Therefore, if the law reflects traditional Biblical morality, homosexuals will sometimes be discriminated against. If the law reflects your moral values, Christians and other people of conservative moral values will lose freedom.

    Chai Feldblum is right. It is a zero-sum game.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Teri said:

    If the law reflects your moral values, Christians and other people of conservative moral values will lose freedom.

    Chai Feldblum is right. It is a zero-sum game.

    Could you draw this out a bit. Not sure how I lose freedom, but I would like to hear how you see it.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Therefore, if the law reflects traditional Biblical morality, homosexuals will sometimes be discriminated against. If the law reflects your moral values, Christians and other people of conservative moral values will lose freedom.

    Is the freedom that Christians will lose, perchance, the freedom to discriminate against homosexual?

  • Teri

    Here are some examples:

    -Having to rent a room in a bed and breakfast to a homosexual couple. (This is already law where I live.) Some Christians (including myself) would see this as facilitating sin.

    -Laws protecting ‘perceived gender’ which force everyone, including teachers, to pretend that a boy is a girl or vice versa. As a Christian we are to be committed to truth.

    -Justices of the peace being forced to marry same-sex couples or resign. (MA)

    -Mandating that teachers teach a pro–homosexual curriculum to public school students. This is already happening in MA and Canada where LGBT persons are designing curriculum. A Christian teacher simply cannot comply with such a law. It would be better for them to have a ‘ millstone tied around their neck…”

    -The photographer in NM sued by a lesbian couple for refusing to take pictures of their civil union ceremony. Even if he eventually wins, he loses because we must finance our own defense while our prosecution is financed by tax dollars.

    -Again, Boston Catholic Charities where no public money was even involved. They lost the right to operate a private Christian charity according to traditional Biblical beliefs. The adoption agency simply could not comply with anti-discrimination law. (It is not bigotry to believe that children do best with both a father and a mother).

    If we look to Canada and Great Britain to see how far homosexual activists have taken things and the resulting destruction of religious freedom, the results are alarming. Please see my previous post on this. (I can only see that as our future, here in the U.S. if this continues.)

    It is nothing personal, and I hope you can see by my previous posts that I have no animosity toward homosexual people – but I do prefer clarity to agreement so I speak as clearly and simply as I can. I believe that homosexual BEHAVIOR is immoral. Therefore I, and others who share my beliefs cannot facilitate, encourage or validate it.

    The bottom line is, there is no way to bridge this gap. What homosexual activists see as an identity, Christians must see as a behavior – no different than any other sinful behavior. I do not believe in ‘orientation.’ I believe the operative word is temptation.

    When the government steps in to protect immoral behavior it puts its foot down right in the middle of the Church by default. That’s just the way it is.

  • jayhuck

    Teri,

    his is already happening in MA and Canada where LGBT persons are designing curriculum. A Christian teacher simply cannot comply with such a law. It would be better for them to have a ‘ millstone tied around their neck…”

    If you’re really committed to TRUTH, then what is the problem with teaching kids about gay couples and gay families. They exist, don’t they? Just because you disagree with it on religious grounds, doesn’t mean it isn’t TRUTH.

  • Teri

    Jayhuck,

    Is that a serious question? Why do you think kids need to be taught in SCHOOL that homosexuality exists?

    Do you really think they aren’t going to find out eventually? People engage in adultery and polyamory too. Should we teach kindergartners about that also?

    You know as well as I that the point of teaching about homosexuality in schools is not merely to point out that certain behaviors exist. The purpose is to validate those behaviors in the minds of children.

  • Teri

    And furthermore, there is a lot of truth that is not taught in school.

  • jayhuck

    Teri,

    The purpose is to validate those behaviors in the minds of children.

    To some extent you are right – it is to teach children they exist and to teach them about tolerance. It also shows them that some parents are gay and lesbian. Just because your interpretation of the Bible doesn’t allow you to agree with many gay people, doesn’t give you the right to impose your particular intolerant religious views on schools that should be about teaching facts

  • jayhuck

    When there is a real problem with gay people being bullied in schools, it is definitely within the right of the school to begin teaching kids about reality and tolerance

  • Teri

    Jayhuck,

    It is not necessary to teach about homosexuality in order to oppose bullying.

    I could say the same thing to you. Just because you believe in homosexuality, doesn’t give you the right to impose your particular value system on school children.

    Finally, to tolerate means to put up with something you don’t agree with. Be honest, you want much more that tolerance for homosexual behavior do you not?

  • jayhuck

    Teri,

    I could say the same thing to you. Just because you believe in homosexuality, doesn’t give you the right to impose your particular value system on school children.

    No Teri, you couldn’t, because the fact that homosexuality is normal is a secular mainstream scientific view – schools are about teaching the secular, not about imposing particular religious views on people.

  • Allan

    Teri, you simply continue to lie and also to ignore what I’ve already replied to.

    March 10, 2006

    BOSTON –The Boston Archdiocese’s Catholic Charities said Friday it would stop providing adoption services because state law allows gays and lesbians to adopt children.

    The social services arm of the Roman Catholic archdiocese has provided adoption services for the state for about two decades, but said it would discontinue once it completes its current state contract.

    Eight members of Catholic Charities’ board stepped down in protest of the bishops’ stance. The 42-member board had voted unanimously in December to continue considering gay households for adoptions.

    Catholic Charities has been involved in adoptions for about a century, but has had a contract with the state Department of Social Services to provide special needs adoption services to children with severe emotional and physical needs since 1977. The contract expires June 30.

    Tim Fitzgerald and his partner John Budron adopted two toddler-aged brothers in 1997 through DSS. Fitzgerald, who married Budron in 2004 after gay marriage became legal in Massachusetts, called the decision by Catholic Charities “tragic.”

    “It’s bad enough that they wouldn’t do placement in gay families, but to stop the whole thing is just reprehensible,” Fitzgerald said.

    Brian Cahill, executive director of Catholic Charities CYO in San Francisco said the agency placed five children out of a total of 136 with gay couples in the past five years. He said most of the children are older, with special needs.

    “Our position has been that we operate in the best interest of these very vulnerable, very fragile children,” Cahill said.

    And once again, the welfare of children around these “Christians” doesn’t matter as long as the Pope is happy!

  • Allan

    Public schools are not mandated to teach a positive message about minority sexual orientation, they are prohibited from teaching negative messages about minority sexual orientation.

  • Allan

    Having to rent a room in a bed and breakfast to a homosexual couple. (This is already law where I live.) Some Christians (including myself) would see this as facilitating sin.

    And would you also check the marriage certificates of each couple that rents a room in your little bed-and-breakfast? Of course not. But that is very often “facilitating the sin of adultery” as you very well know but choose to ignore.

  • Allan

    Justices of the peace being forced to marry same-sex couples or resign. (MA)

    Justices of the Peace are licensed by the state to make money from their work. If they are unwilling to follow the laws of the state which licenses them, they do not deserve to have the right to make money from that business. Tough.

  • Allan

    It is nothing personal, and I hope you can see by my previous posts that I have no animosity toward homosexual people – but I do prefer clarity to agreement so I speak as clearly and simply as I can. I believe that homosexual BEHAVIOR is immoral. Therefore I, and others who share my beliefs cannot facilitate, encourage or validate it.

    The bottom line is, there is no way to bridge this gap. What homosexual activists see as an identity, Christians must see as a behavior – no different than any other sinful behavior. I do not believe in ‘orientation.’ I believe the operative word is temptation.

    When the government steps in to protect immoral behavior it puts its foot down right in the middle of the Church by default. That’s just the way it is.

    From your previous posts I can see that you are loaded down with nothing BUT animosity toward gays. You are not so blind as to believe that all of the laws being passed by so many hundreds of thousands of people all across the country and all around the world are all wrong but you are right because you say so, and because you say you believe your view about your radical, extremist version of your religion says so.

    You know better than that, and that is the immorality. You CHOOSE to act the way you do because you want to believe you are superior to gay people, you need to believe you are, you prefer an authoritarian society. It is nothing but personal for each person who is subjected to your un-American, un-Constitutional, “MY religion must be the law of the land” junk.

    You say Christians “must” see being gay as a behavior, but there are a lot of Christians who do not agree with you at all. So now you will be saying they are not real Christians, right? Only you and Fred Phelps and Sally Kern know what a real Christian is, right?

    When the church steps in to over-rule the law of this Constitutional democratic republic, it puts its foot on my neck and that is completely unacceptable. That’s just the way it is, in America.

  • http://anziulewicz.livejournal.com Chuck Anziulewicz

    DEAR DAVE GARRECHT:

    You write, “You’re right, a monogamous, tested and faithful couple will not likely contract any STDs; do you know any such people within the gay community? I surely don’t.”

    Yes, I most surely do. MANY. Similarly, I know plenty of Straight people who are promiscous, and I know Straight couples who have cheated on each other, and as someone who works in the field of HIV/AIDS/STD prevention, I know that the vast majority of people with STDs have contracted those diseases through heterosexual activity.

    I will stand by my original point: Monogamy. Commitment. Respect. And most of all, HIV (and STD) testing. These are things we ought to encourage amongst ALL people, regardless of sexual orientation. Please don’t suggest that Gay people are simply incapable of rising to the challenge.

  • http://anziulewicz.livejournal.com Chuck Anziulewicz

    To answer some of Teri’s questions:

    “Should Christian adoption agencies be allowed to discriminate against placing children with same-sex couples?”

    Absolutely … as long as they do not accept public funding. Catholic Charities of Boston decided to stop placing children with adoptive Gay couples, and I really didn’t have a problem with that … until I found out that they were being funded by the state of Massachusetts to the tune of $1 million per year! They were given a choice: Continue to accept the funding and abide by the state’s antidiscrimination law, or give up the money. Catholic Charities chose to give up the money. Fine with me. Religious organizations can discriminate all they want to, but not on MY dime.

    “Should public schools deliberately teach children a positive message about homosexuality?”

    If public schools deliberately teach children a positive message about heterosexuality, then YES. Acknowledging that Gay people exist, that they are just as capable to conducting themselves with decency and humility, that they contribute just as much to society as anyone else, is not going to make Straight kids turn Gay.

    “Should a photographer (of any stripe) be allowed to refuse a job taking photos of a civil union ceremony?”

    In my humble opinion, YES. Frankly I can’t understand why any photographer would want to give up a lucrative contract like that. The question become this: Is the photographer considered “public accomodation?” If the answer is YES, and laws prohibit discrimination in public accomodation based on sexual orientation, then he has no choice but to treat Gay and Straight couples equally, just as a Gay photographer should not be allowed to refuse a contract to take photos for a Straight couple getting married. Frankly, I wouldn’t really care how this legal issue is handled, as long as Gay and Straight people are treated equally.

    “Should a church be forced to rent property to a couple for a civil union ceremony?”

    You are probably referring to the case in Ocean Grove, New Jersey, where a Methodist association owns a boardwalk pavillion that has been a very popular spot for weddings. If the association had restricted use of the pavilion to Methodists, it might be able to argue that it had a religious exemption from discrimination laws. But because it allows heterosexuals of any denomination to use the pavilion, he said, it looks more like a public accommodation, not unlike a shopping mall. The pavilion is part of the community. Bands play there; children skateboard through it. It is even used during Ocean Grove’s periodic Civil War Living History weekend for a debate that, ironically, involves discrimination during the war. The Methodist association in question seems to have a double standard; they seem perfectly willing to take money from Straight couples, even if they belong to religions the Methodists consider false … but Gay couples cause a spike in righteous indignation. It’s a very sad case that reflects very poorly on the Methodist organization. I don’t know how it will pan out … and again, I really don’t care, as long as Gay and Straight couples are treated fairly and equally.

    “Should the Boy Scouts be punished for having a heterosexual standard for scout leaders?”

    NO …. as long as the Boy Scouts aren’t accepting public funding and taking advantage of public facilities that are maintained, in part, through my tax dollars. (See my comment about adoption, above.)

    “Should Christian schools be allowed to discriminate against homosexual teachers?”

    Absolutely, as long as they aren’t accepting public funding and taking advantage of public facilities that are maintained, in part, through my tax dollars. (See my comment about adoption, above.)

    “Should a corporate worker lose his/her job for refusing to promote ‘Coming Out Day’ to his or her employees?”

    No … as long as a Gay corporate worker is not at risk for losing HIS job for refusing to promote “Heterosexual Coming Out Day” (as silly as that sounds). As long as Gay and Straight employees are treated equally and fairly under the law, I don’t really care.

    “Should ’speech’ critical of homosexuality but not specifically promoting violence be against the law?”

    Not as far as I’m concerned … but then again, whether or not speech is capable of inciting violence against ANY minority group is a tricky issue. Christians have been preaching against non-Christians, Muslims have been preaching against non-Muslims, since Day One, and no one has made a legal issue of it. That’s the way religions are. Frankly, if Pat Robertson wants to insist that God might hurl a meteor at Orlando because of Gay Day at Disneyworld, he’s entitled to his foolishness. But if you are talking about hate crimes, I will say this: There is a difference between someone spraypainting a “tag” on a railroad car and someone spraypainting swastikas on the front of a synagogue. Likewise, there is a difference between two guys getting into a fight over a girl and those same two guys beating the crap out of guy they catch coming out of a Gay bar.

  • Michael Bussee

    Back to the oriinal question: What should Kern do?

    I think she should really look around her. Terrorists everywhere! Her gynecologist may be lesbian! The guy that does her taxes may be gay! Some of her favorite musicians and songwriters are homosexual. So is the person who bags her groceries, fixes her car, repairs her plumbing, tints her hair. Gays teach Sunday school at her church. Lesbians work in her office!

    Most of these “terrorists” want nothing more than to put in a good days work, collect their hard-earned pay — then go home and watch American Idol or turn on the ten o’clock news.

    Once the get home from plotting the overthrow of the American givernment, the criminalization of Christianity and the destruction of the nuclear family, they are busy folding their laundry, doing dishes, cleaning the cat box and tucking their kids in at night — just like millions of other Americans. They pose no threat to her — and they deserve to be treeated like any other loyal, patriotic, God-loving citizen.

    What should Kern do? Get a reality check.

  • Karen

    Unfortunatly we do appear UNchristian when we hold views like this regarding gays and lesbians. I truly wish we could share our thoughts without a rightous attitude. WE ARE NOT THE JUDGE, God will judge.

    I think a more Christian approach would be to say “It is a huge problem and we need to PRAY about it. Pray for the gays and lesbians. We cannot condem them for it’s not our job to do that.”

    That is what I think she should do. Simply offer prayers.

  • Nick R

    The solution is not to find some miracle cure, but to refrain from the behavior that has caused this pandemic in the first place.

    Given that the vast majority of people in the world with AIDS are heterosexuals, I guess you are right. Heterosexuals need to stop having sex, period. Think that argument is stupid and unrealistic? You are right, your argument is.

    What should Kern do? Be honest. Hear what others have to say (you’ll note in the other post that links to the video she kept cutting off the pastor and not allowing him to respond). He was asked about how he interprets scripture and then she wouldn’t let him respond. Typical. Shout down your opponent tactics.

    I find it funny how people appeal to Leviticus to condemn gays but ignore that in the same “paragraphs” men who have sex with women (presumably including their wives) when she is menstruating are also condemned. How often do we hear this from the pulpit?

    1 Corinthians & 1 Timothy – nobody even knows for sure what the word used by Paul means. It has been translated as seemingly everything but homosexuality through 1952, and even today in German is translated as boy molesters.

    Jude 7 – “strange flesh” in Greek means flesh of a different nature. In context of the passage it is obvious the men were trying to rape angels (beings of a different nature). Nowhere does the Bible say Sodom was condemned for homosexuality.

    Gagnon, well he’s got a lot of circular reasoning in there and very little of substance. His main argument (complementarity or sex organs) is based on a non-Biblical hypothesis.

  • Teri

    Allan,

    Why are you so angry? It appears that you believe there is no room for principaled moral objection. You seem to consider the mere belief, that homosexual conduct is immoral, to be personal hatred toward homosexual people.

    It has been my experience that people who are truly convinced of their convictions don’t need other people’s approval. Likewise, they usually aren’t generally so hostile to those who don’t share those convictions.

  • Teri

    Karen,

    I would suggest to you that it clearly doesn’t matter how you say it. If you believe that God considers homosexual BEHAVIOR to be sinful, and more importantly, if you say so, you will be condemned and accused of intolerance and hatred.

    You will be considered unChristian – because Christianity has been reduced to simply making your neighbor FEEL good. All ‘love,’ (if you can call it love) and no truth – particularly not moral truth, is now the order of the day, even in Christian circles…

    But how else do we come to repentance except by knowledge of the moral truth and our inability to live up to it? Salvation comes only when we agree with God about sin – and come to Him on His terms

  • http://www.exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    This is really a sad thread.

    If you believe that God considers homosexual BEHAVIOR to be sinful, and more importantly, if you say so, you will be condemned and accused of intolerance and hatred.

    I don’t know of anyone who really cares one way or the other that you believe that. However, I suspect that those who do are really objecting to what they know that view represents, and that is much more than opinion. People rarely simply have the opinion, they try to make sure that civil laws are such that those who do not believe so and are gay do not have the same freedoms that others do.

    Or worse, they create an atmosphere where others feel that hatred, even violence against people they even think might be gay is ok because they perceive the hate coming through from the church, even though it may be called something else. The 80% figure mentioned in UnChristian illustrates this impression, so how it is meant really isn’t the issue – how does the Church change that? If nothing else, logic says that she must do something different that what we hear today.

    We also must be careful we don’t assume this is a Christian Nation – it is a nation with a lot of Christians and a lot of others as well. There are a lot of people who do not share a faith in God, do we impose something on them strictly because you interpret the Bible to say it? That doesn’t sound American to me. Civil liberties in this country must be widely construed to allow the most freedom without infringing unduly on the rights of others.

    And Teri, in the future, you might get more serious, honest, heartfelt responses if you answer questions more directly, and not simply respond with long lists of information. No one can deal with that much info in a comment thread, so one gets the impression you are just trying to ambush the other commenter with more than they can deal with at the time. I do, however, appreciate the info for future use – I love investigating those issues because the real answers usually help dispel misconceptions.

  • Mary

    Teri,

    Not to pick on you , but as an ex gay you sound very legalistic and show little to no compassion that Christ speaks of.

    I don’t get the feeling that you have ever really known a gay person and what their life is truly like.

  • Michael Bussee

    Teri is absolutely convinced that all “homosexual conduct is immoral.” That’s fine. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion.

    But I have a question: What makes something “immoral”? (Keep in mind, for example, that some Southern Baptists think that dancing is!) So we have to ask: “Is something “immoral” because it appears on some list of “do’s” and “don’ts” somewhere? Or is it immoral because it violates another person?”

    I am not sure who said it, but I believe that “any true morality is based on empathy” — that ability to step outside oneself and ask: “”How would I want to be treated in this situation?” “What is the loving and self-sacrificial thing to do?”

    Why are murder, lying, cheating, stealing, adultery, violence, bullying, slavery, child molestation, etc . “immoral”? Answer: They all violate another human being — treating them in an unloving and selfish manner — treating them as something less than you are — something less important and deserving of respect — something less than a fellow child of God. That’s “sin”.

    They are all violations of the Golden Rule. I have thought long and hard about this issue, and I simply cannot see how all homosexual behavior is necssarily “immoral” — anymore than all heterosexual behavior is.

  • Allan

    Allan,

    Why are you so angry? It appears that you believe there is no room for principaled moral objection. You seem to consider the mere belief, that homosexual conduct is immoral, to be personal hatred toward homosexual people.

    It has been my experience that people who are truly convinced of their convictions don’t need other people’s approval. Likewise, they usually aren’t generally so hostile to those who don’t share those convictions.

    Teri, So angry? You have no idea, and you certainly haven’t seen it here on this board. (full disclosure: one of my posts was monitored out)

    You defend intentional liars like Sally Kern, Fred Phelps and the like. You repeat misinformation you know is harmful misinformation. I’ve answered your questions with facts, and I’ve included questions, and you’ve chosen to ignore those. Facts aren’t fungible, they just are.

    Your “beliefs” aren’t more important than anyone else’s, neither are mine, though you insist that yours are and that yours have the right to dominate the Constitution (a thoroughly mistaken notion) — just as Sally Kern insisted that discussion of her Bible beliefs dominate the televised interview instead of focusing on her official position and the effects her radical, extremist, anti-gay bias and outrageous lies will have on the nation, and in particular on the gay people she has sworn to “represent” in her district.

    Just as she needlessly brought an identifiable teacher at the school where she formerly taught into her “Sally hates gays” speech to fellow Republicans, she compounded her attacks by needlessly “outing” the principal of that school rather than answer basic questions from the gay minister on the panel. She couched the “outing” in terms of praise for the woman who is “worse than a terrorist,” but she made sure she got that outing in at the end of the panel discussion. That was simply cruel.

    You choose to make dismissive, insulting statements about gay people and declare them to be acceptable discourse because you claim false moral high ground due to your “religious beliefs”. You are being offensive to gay people, and now you wonder why a gay person might take offense? “There are none so blind as she who will not see.”

    This from you is simply vicious: “All ‘love,’ (if you can call it love)” This is not “principled moral objection” this is hateful, spiteful and demeaning to gay people.

    You’ve mocked and derided gay people all up and down this board.

    You and Sally Kern represent the “American Christian” version of Christianity, Christian supremacists, one of its lower forms, who will not be happy unless Constitutional law is replaced by the American Christian version of sharia law. Well, that’s not going to happen.

    I no more need your acceptance than a black person needs the acceptance of white supremacists.

    I’m not so brazen as to say I am 100% convinced that I am right all of the time. It’s too bad Christian supremacists cannot say the same.

  • http://anziulewicz.livejournal.com Chuck Anziulewicz

    Why are murder, lying, cheating, stealing, adultery, violence, bullying, slavery, child molestation, etc . “immoral”? Answer: They all violate another human being — treating them in an unloving and selfish manner — treating them as something less than you are — something less important and deserving of respect — something less than a fellow child of God. That’s “sin”.

    They are all violations of the Golden Rule. I have thought long and hard about this issue, and I simply cannot see how all homosexual behavior is necssarily “immoral” — anymore than all heterosexual behavior is.

    Michael, you absolutely hit the nail on the head. Strip away all the ritual and dogma, and what we are left with is just that: The Golden Rule. We don’t bear false witness against others because we don’t want others to lie about US. We don’t steal because we don’t wish to be stolen FROM. We dont’ commit adultery because we certainly wouldn’t want our spouses betraying OUR trust. As so on and so forth.

    So how is it that Straight people are allowed to date, get engaged, get married, and build lives together within the context of monogamy, commitment, and respect, and that this is a GOOD thing …. and yet for Gay couples to do exactly the same thing is somehow a BAD thing?

    It doesn’t make a lick of sense to me.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Teri,

    Ah yes, as I thought, you feel that it is your Christian duty to discriminate. And being denied the ability to treat people badly is a great imposition to your faith.

    The irony is that you cannot see that “It is nothing personal, and I hope you can see by my previous posts that I have no animosity toward homosexual people” just makes us laugh.

    You have no animosity to gay people, you just want to treat them badly.

    And, of course, you would be horrified if anyone sought to treat you the same way because of your chosen religious affiliation. If anyone denied you a bed or banned you from adopting or if a justice of the peace refused to officiate at the weddings of your religion you’d hit the roof.

    You are so quick to list your grievances and demand that other accomodate them that I have absolutely no doubt that you’d sue and probably would try to get that person fired. But those you dislike? Well, we don’t really have to treat them as ourselves.

    Sigh. And you wonder why the youth are increasingly finding Christianity to be irrelevant to their world.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Teri,

    Sorry to run two comments back to back.

    But your emphasis on “behavior” really baffles me.

    For the record (and I think I can speak for all gay people everywhere): No one wants to control what you believe. No one objects to you living according to the limits of your faith – in other words, only live heterosexually if that’s what you believe and you can morally object to everyone and everything you see around you.

    What we object to is your behavior.

    We object to being lied about.

    We object to having you say hateful things for the sole purpose of being nasty.

    We object to you coming here with a list of grievances designed to twist the truth to falsely make gay people look like they are dangerous and a threat to freedom.

    We object to you refusing to acknowledge the fact that your grievance list is inaccurate and false (Catholic Charities getting money from the State, for example) and just keeping repeating your lies over and over.

    We object to your creating a false dichotomy between Christian and gay and insisting that there’s no way to bridge the gap.

    We object to your defense of Sally Kern’s outrageous accusation that gay people are worse than terrorists.

    We object to your efforts to deny gay people equality.

    These are all things that you come out and do publicly and with the desire to confront and harm the lives of gay people.

    You, on the other hand, object to behavior that gay people do privately and in the confines of their own home and often in the context of committed monogamous relationships – behaviors which are, frankly, none of your business.

    Teri, your behaviors are far far more objectionable than ours.

  • Teri

    Here’s a question:

    1. In your opinion, it possible to say that homosexual BEHAVIOR is wrong and believe that for the good of society we should therefore discriminate against it and yet not be considered hateful?

    Or is everybody who publicly expresses what I believe automatically a hater?

    Obviously you want to jettison traditional Christian values regarding sexual conduct from our society thinking them hateful and bigoted. OK. Let’s say we do that.

    2. Where do the new set of rules come from and what ARE those rules?

    BTW- Catholic Charities did not close down because of money from the state but only because they would not abandon traditional Biblical values and place children with same-sex couples. Money had nothing to do with it. Again, just one example of a law forcing your moral values on Christians.

  • Mary

    No one is trying to jettison christian values. People are trying to allow different people with different values to co-exist. Teri – as a traditional christian – all you need to do – is live accordingly. Raise your children in the tradition of your faith. Remember when the Isrealites were held captive to other cultures? They allowed themselves to accept those beliefs. You don’t have to do that. There will always be ebb and flow of cultural tides but God is forever – why are you so afraid? Is it that you are afraid you cannot withstand the cultural influence? Is that you are afraid that if you truly did speak in love that you would love a homosexual? (not sexually – but really love someone?) Can you love others who are different than you – say the stranger at the gate. Can you allow yourself to be a minority? Isn’t that okay?

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Teri,

    You seem to be missing the concept of basic communication. When you state something and are proven wrong, you apologize. You don’t just ask more questions indignantly. The person who is wrong isn’t entitled to be indignant.

    1. In your opinion, it possible to say that homosexual BEHAVIOR is wrong and believe that for the good of society we should therefore discriminate against it and yet not be considered hateful?

    Sure. People can believe any old ignorant thing without being hateful. Sadly, this lack of hatefulness isn’t showing through very well in your comments.

    And even though discrimination against your neighbor may not be based on hate, it doesn’t make it right.

    Many many Americans practiced discrimination against persons of other races, religions, and ethnicities before they became aware that what they were doing was contrary to Christ’s command to treat our neighbor like ourselves.

    Plenty of folks though that segregation was really for the best of the country and for all involved. Here in Los Angeles, many of those who incorporated into the sales contracts that Jews couldn’t buy property in Hancock Park probably didn’t hate Jews. And I’m sure that plenty of “Irish need not apply” signs that went up in NYC weren’t because of hatred of the Irish but instead to “protect” the ethnic integrity of certain communities.

    But all of those things were wrong.

    And so is what you advocate.

    2. Where do the new set of rules come from and what ARE those rules?

    I have no idea what you are asking.

    BTW- Catholic Charities did not close down because of money from the state but only because they would not abandon traditional Biblical values and place children with same-sex couples. Money had nothing to do with it. Again, just one example of a law forcing your moral values on Christians.

    Ya know, Teri, repeating a lie doesn’t make it true. Even if you really really want to believe it.

    Incidentally, my moral values aren’t being “forced on Christians”. I am a Christian.

  • Dave Garrecht

    Teri,

    I admire your persistence. Be strong in the Lord! I see people finding truths they wish were not there, and calling them “lies.” They appear unable to differentiate between behavior and persons. I see accusations for some things that were not said at all. And I see statements of caring concern being interpreted a “hate.” And some cannot see that this moral issue regarding wrong behavior is not a civil rights nor an equality issue.

    –And then I see the use of derogatory terms directed at persons who refuse to agree with them. This isn’t my idea of a blogged forum of mutual respect.

  • Allan

    From the Oklahoma Gazette, sent in by the teacher specifically maligned by Sally Kern in her anti-gay rant to her fellow Republicans. (According to Mr. Quigley, “The parts in parentheses were edited out [by the Gazette], but this did not change the meaning of the letter.”)

    Dear Editor,

    Having read the complete transcript of Rep. Sally Kern’s now infamous speech to the Republican Club, I found she has decided to use me as her unwitting and unwilling example of the dangers of Gay teachers in public schools. She stated, “Now I’m not a gay basher, okay. When I taught school three doors down from me was one of the most obnoxious gay people that you can mention. If I named him you probably have seen him. He writes in the paper all the time and everything. But you know, he has the right to practice that life-style if he chooses but he does not have the right to indoctrinate his classes. You know, that’s not what education is about.”

    However on April 21, 2005 , when she was attempting to have “Homosexually themed” books isolated in the Metro Library System, she said the following, “I taught down the hall from my colleague, Joe Quigley, sitting right over there. I often heard him teach and I think he is an excellent teacher. It is just his life-style I do not find acceptable.”

    It would appear Rep. Kern plays fast and loose with the truth as it serves her purposes. One of these statements has to be untrue as they are contradictory. She changed her characterization of me as she saw fit. In the latter case she needed to appear open minded to a public crowd, in the former she needed to appeal to a smaller, less public audience.

    (While claiming the higher ground and a mission from God, she has found it necessary to lie at least once to get her way. This lying is pitiful from a person claiming she is doing the Lord’s work. It should bring into question many, if not most or even all, of her claims of righteousness and her being a teller of the truth.)

    Further, her claims about my “lifestyle” are totally fabricated as she and I were not friends socially, and other than my advocacy for Gay students to protect them from bullying and harassment while at school, and what letters to editors she may have read, she has no knowledge of my life outside of school. She painted me as a monster for the sake of frightening an audience who had no idea that as they trusted her, she was lying to them.

    Joseph Quigley

    “It would appear Rep. Kern plays fast and loose with the truth as it serves her purposes.” That sounds an awful lot like somebody who is determined to dominate this discussion board with lies and gay-bashing. And both Kern and she claim moral superiority as their motivation! Ha! Hypocrisy from two “American Christian” versions of the real thing — who woulda thunk it?

  • Nick R

    Dave,

    Based on your views heterosexuals do not exist. There are only people who practice heterosexual behavior. In other words, based on your views, all people choose who they are attracted to. Everyone, when growing up, makes a choice (conscious or otherwise) between being attracted to males or to females. Everyone makes a choice as to which gender spontaneously causes sexual excitement in them.

    In other words, what you are telling me is that YOU chose to engage in heterosexual behavior even though you were as often attracted to the same sex as you were the opposite sex. Yes, indeed, you are not heterosexual, you only (presumably) engage in heterosexual behavior.

    That is why we should never trust people like Ted Haggard or any other pastor who was caught engaging in homosexual behavior – even though they claim they struggled with the desires and prayed against them for decades, they were simply choosing to have them. Their tears were deceitful, they really only chose to have those desires, despite preaching against it and condemning those who also shared those desires.

    Homosexuality, like heterosexuality, doesn’t really exist. We simply should be defined by our behavior. In other words, people like me who are celibate are neither heterosexual nor homosexual, even though all of our unconscious longings, desires, dreams, spontaneous arousals, etc are solely homosexual.

    Thank you for your logic. You’ll forgive me if I think it is all hogwash. And now, I guess I should go about my busines “loving” you by doing the exact opposite of how Jesus taught me to treat you.

  • Allan

    “I see people finding truths they wish were not there, and calling them “lies.”

    I see your people selling lies they wish were true, and calling them “Truths.”

    “They appear unable to differentiate between behavior and persons.”

    They seem only too willing to attack others for their behavior and make believe that there are not persons involved. It’s called hiding behind semantics in order to engender unnecessary fear about certain (gay) people.

    “I see accusations for some things that were not said at all.”

    Name them.

    And I see statements of caring concern being interpreted a “hate.”

    Caring concern??? For gay people from Teri? Point it out. There is only concern that her radical, extremist, religious supremacy point of view dominates not just this discussion, but the behavior and lives of everyone on the planet!

    “And some cannot see that this moral issue regarding wrong behavior is not a civil rights nor an equality issue.”

    And there we have the proof. It may be a moral issue to some, but it is not a moral issue at all to gay people. It has always been and will always be an issue of our due civil rights and the enforcement and protection of our equality. Just like the lives and rights of those pesky slaves weren’t a “moral issue” as the religious extremists of those days insisted.

    “And then I see the use of derogatory terms directed at persons who refuse to agree with them. This isn’t my idea of a blogged forum of mutual respect.”

    Yes, derogatory terms such as “immoral” and “sinful” and “lifestyle” directed at people whose lives you know nothing about. You cannot accurately “judge” a group of people you do not know at all.

    Teri, and you, apparently, use carefully chosen words of disrespect. If you don’t believe me, ask any gay person whose lives are discounted automatically and instantly, simply because that person is gay and you refuse to accept that gay people are equal to you just as they are. Tough. We are.

    The “belief” that your “belief” trumps my rights deserves and will continue to get zero respect. I am a human being, not some pawn for you to decide upon, to choose my rights for me like they were offerings on a salad bar.

    Another anti-gay “Christian” who “believes” the Constitution is subservient to his understanding of his interpretation of his version of his chosen Bible, and who is completely and totally wrong when it comes to the lives and rights of gay people in the U.S. of A.

  • Teri

    Dave,

    Thank you.

    Timothy,

    As far as I can tell I have said nothing that is untrue – as unflattering as it may be to your notion of the homosexual ‘rights’ movement as being a bastion of tolerance.

    Where are you getting your information about Boston Catholic Charities? Do you have a link?

    TImothy,

    What would be your reaction be to someone who announced that they were a Christian polyamorist?

    Mary,

    The law and public policy cannot reflect both the values of homosexual ‘rights’ activists’ and Bible believing Christians at the same time. It will reflect one or the other.

    You believe it should reflect the values of homosexual ‘rights’ activists. I think it is best for society if it reflects traditional Biblical values. It really is that simple.

    This is not about people’s personal behavior in private. Your private behavior is of no concern to me. You have the freedom to live as you will.

    You have exactly the same rights that I do. For instance, you can get married. There is no law that says LGBT people cannot get married. The law discriminates against certain kinds of relationships – not people. The problem is, homosexual activists are seeking to change the law in a way that will force everyone to validate their private behavior. Ie. You would to force everyone to pretend that two men = a married couple.

    - It’s going to be a lot harder for me to raise my children according to my beliefs if the public schools are teaching them that immoral behavior is OK.

    - It’s going to be pretty hard for Christians to keep a job or get hired if corporate employers expect them to validate or encourage homosexual behavior in the interest of ‘diversity.’

    -It will be a lot harder for some Christians to earn a living if their business is in the wedding industry (for instance) and they can get sued because they cannot, in good conscience, provide services for what they consider to be a counterfeit ceremony.

    -If reparative therapy is banned, what will Christian mental health professionals do when their licenses and accreditation is taken away.

    A Christian public school teacher cannot teach children that homosexual behavior is moral. That is what this is coming to. Am I hateful because I don’t think people should have to choose between their jobs and faithfulness to Christ over the issue of homosexuality?

    Should I simply quietly accept all the changes you want to make in our society?

    When you see people walking toward a cliff blindfolded do you keep quiet because you know they won’t believe you and it might make them angry to tell them that disaster is up ahead?

    Is that what loving my neighbor really looks like? Silence?

  • Teri

    I want to repeat my second question because I think it deserves some consideration.

    Obviously, I get my values from the Bible (the historical understanding of God’s design for human sexual behavior.)

    You all say that the one man, one woman, married for life thing is not an acceptable basis for public policy and law in our society.

    So, I want to know: What are the new rules? If you jettison what’s left of Biblical sexual mores, you will have to replace them with something else.

    What do you propose? What will now constitute acceptable sexual conduct?

    I think Nick mentioned the Golden Rule a while back…

    This is not a rhetorical question. I’m asking for specifics. How old is old enough? How many is too many? Are there any rules regarding familial relationships, such as incest? Is pederasty OK? What should now constitute a family?

    Finally, what is the source of this new set of sexual mores?

  • jayhuck

    Teri,

    That’s an easy question – a family is made up of many different individuals – its not a question of what SHOULD, but what IS! A family may not be a group of people united by blood. A family can also be made up of TWO CONSENTING ADULTS plus any children.

    The source? Society!

  • Teri

    Michael B.,

    Not to get off topic but you asked,

    what makes something moral?

    God is the one who determines what is moral and what is not. Christianity teaches that God has revealed the moral truth to human beings through Scripture. Although He has given us a conscience, not all morality can be discerned with merely a conscience and our own reasoning abilities.

    For instance, the thing that He seems to be most angry about (at least in the OT) is idolatry. You cannot discern the sin of idolatry through the Golden Rule…

    Empathy has nothing to do with it. It seems to me that empathy is also a two sided coin. It sometimes helps to temper our hard heartedness toward others. Likewise, it sometimes keeps us from speaking the truth when the truth is what is really needed.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Timothy,

    As far as I can tell I have said nothing that is untrue – as unflattering as it may be to your notion of the homosexual ‘rights’ movement as being a bastion of tolerance.

    Teri,

    If this is an example of your brand of love, I’d rather not have any, thanks.

    Over and over we illustrate that your claims are either inaccurate or just plain false. Over and over you either ignore what we say and just reiterate your claims.

    Like so many who come bearing “TRUTH”, you seem not to believe that your “truth” should actually have any association with facts.

    Where are you getting your information about Boston Catholic Charities? Do you have a link?

    You chose to ignore the direct quote above, but here’s a link.

    Catholic Charities has been involved in adoptions for about a century, but has had a contract with the state Department of Social Services to provide special needs adoption services to children with severe emotional and physical needs since 1977. The contract expires June 30.

    TImothy,

    What would be your reaction be to someone who announced that they were a Christian polyamorist?

    I have no idea whatsoever. But I’m willing to bet it wouldn’t be the same as yours.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Teri,

    You think that you use “Biblical values”. So I’ll answer your questions using Biblical values

    This is not a rhetorical question. I’m asking for specifics.

    How old is old enough?

    The bible isn’t exactly clear but Jewish tradition seems to support the notion that ancient Biblical values would be 13 for males and 12 for girls.

    How many is too many?

    1 Kings 11:3 Something this side of 700 is probably too many. Otherwise, quite a few seems to be standard Biblical values.

    Are there any rules regarding familial relationships, such as incest?

    Genesis 20:12 Half-sisters are acceptable for wives, if its on the father side

    Is pederasty OK?

    Well I think that Romans forbids pederasty. You probably disagree and think that pederasty isn’t mentioned in scripture at all.

    What should now constitute a family?

    The Bible is chuck full of families of all sizes and shapes.

    Naomi and Ruth were family. Jesus, Joseph, Mary and the other brothers were family. David and Mephibosheth were family.

    Look, Teri. You think you have the Bible on your side. But your notion of marriage would be as foreign to ancient Hebrews or to First Century Christians as a gay marriage is to you.

    You have your beliefs, and you are entitled to them. But please recognize that these beliefs are inconsistent and not based on what you think they are.

  • Teri

    Jayhuck,

    I was asking what sexual moral value system you think our society should be based on since we will clearly no longer be using Christian moral values as a foundation.

    Do you mean that it should be determined by the democratic process?

  • Teri

    Timothy,

    I asked you what value system you think is now appropriate since we’re jettisoning the old one.

    You are the one who wants to change things. I just want to know how you plan to change them.

    You didn’t answer my question.

  • jayhuck

    Which Christian interpretation of values are you talking about?

  • jayhuck

    Teri,

    You act as if we plan to change things in some distant future – things have ALREADY changed. The values and reasons for changing have to do with equality and justice, which ARE Christian values.

  • Teri

    I have given ample evidence that Sally Kern, indeed has legitimate concerns about the effects of the homosexual ‘rights’ movement on society. It is destroying some very basic Constitutional freedoms (association, religion, conscience) for people of conservative faith.

    You all may think that’s OK, it’s a legitimate trade-off from your point of view, but you ought to be honest enough to admit that it’s happening.

    I may not agree with Chai Felblum’s position on homosexual ‘rights’, but I certainly respect her integrity.

    Chai Feldblum brief

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Teri,

    Do you remember above where I told you that those who are wrong don’t get to be indignant? It’s still true.

    You don’t just get to post a bunch of questions and demands and ignore the answers that you don’t like.

    This isn’t the playground and you aren’t arguing over who’s a bigger cootie-face. You are arguing against the freedom and equality of very real people and you can’t just dismiss what doesn’t fit your worldview or preconceived notions.

    Timothy,

    I asked you what value system you think is now appropriate since we’re jettisoning the old one.

    You are the one who wants to change things. I just want to know how you plan to change them.

    You didn’t answer my question.

    I am not jettisoning any value system. I respect my Christian heritage and the traditions of both my faith and my nation. And my traditions predate your agenda of discrimination.

    You see, Teri, I was a Christian before that meant treating others with contempt and discrimination. I was taught that we were good to others, that we treated our neighbors as we wanted to be treated, and that we did not seek worldly power. My faith (a very conservative one, by the way) did not believe that we had any reason, much less any right, to impose our articles of faith on those around us.

    Now I know that from time to time the church has trouble defining who is the man in the ditch and who is the good samaritan. Sometimes it has trouble figuring out who is included in “whosoever”. And it almost always has trouble in deciding whose theology is divinely given by God and whose is a perversion, heresy, and an abomination.

    But over time the Church usually gets it right.

    Contrary to what appeared to be solid Scriptural authority, the Church found slavery to be immoral. And in direct opposition to New Testament clear directives, much of the Church has decided that women are not banned from any position of authority.

    I think what frightens you most, Teri, is not whether Congress says that you have to serve the Blue Plate Special to gay people or whether they let gay men and women serve in the military. I think what bothers you most is that you are taking a look at Christianity as finding to your dismay that the faith is moving away from your beliefs. More and more churches – even some in conservative denominations – no longer share your zeal. Or your animus. More and more no longer share your theology.

    The church is slowly but gradually getting it right on homosexuality.

    And when it does, it won’t be because it tossed out its value system but rather because it expanded it to include the leper, the Samaritan, the unwelcome and unwanted, and the gay men and women.

  • http://www.exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    I suggest that unless Warren requires Teri to respond in some meaningful way to questions and rebuttals put to her before she launches in to new ones, this discussion will not be very productive. She is basically making war with words and then seems surprised when it has the intended result of frustrating others. Other than a fine illustration of the findings of UnChristian, this doesn’t serve any search for truth.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    I work for a living for awhile and come back things are all over the place.

    This thread is about Sally Kern’s comments and rhetorical tone. It is not about gay marriage, hate crimes, zero sum games or anything else at this point.

    Now with all of the heat generated here so far, it may not be possible to get the ship back on course, but I will try.

    Let me ask Teri and Dave and anyone else who is arguing against the morality of homosexuality, if they believe Sally Kern’s comments about homosexuality being more of a threat than terrorism are accurate. Let’s get back to that. If any of you have already addressed that, please point me to the comment number.

    I personally do not think homosexuality is more dangerous than terrorism. I think gay rights groups, agree with them or not, are using the system to advance something they believe in. The terrorists want to replace the system with totalitarianism.

    Sorry if there might be some repetition here but I am having trouble following the multiple ravelings of the thread above given how it has gotten away from my post.

  • Teri

    Timothy,

    Either you are deliberately dishonest or you don’t read very well. The article you sent me on Boston Catholic Charities made it very clear the problem was not state funding but the state’s insistence on placing kids same-sex couples. First sentence:

    The Boston Archdiocese’s Catholic Charities said Friday it would stop providing adoption services because state law allows gays and lesbians to adopt children.

    Here’s another:

    From there, it was only a short step to the headline “State Putting Church Out of Adoption Business,” which ran over an opinion piece in the Boston Globe by John Garvey, dean of Boston College Law School. It’s worth underscoring that Catholic Charities’ problem with the state didn’t hinge on its receipt of public money. Ron Madnick, president of the Massachusetts chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, agreed with Garvey’s assessment: “Even if Catholic Charities ceased receiving tax support and gave up its role as a state contractor, it still could not refuse to place children with same-sex couples.”

    The State of MA demanded that BCC abandon their values in favor of laws favoring the homosexual ‘rights’ movement. BCC refused to give in.

    You are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Teri – I did not ask you if Rep. Kern was right to be concerned, I asked if you believe the threat is bigger than terrorism.

    Anything that erodes basic rights should be cautiously examined. The freedom to practice one’s religion is a basic right in the US. These tensions are real and need to have rational conversation. I invite you to participate. However, I would like you to address the statement she made and what that statement conveys as rhetoric.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Warren,

    As tempting as it is to respond to Teri… sigh… I’ll just say:

    No, I don’t think that homosexuality is a greater threat than terrorism.

    I do think the mindset among some conservative Christians is very very similar to the totalitarian worldview of islamacists. Ironically, this view (my religion trumps your right to disagree) is far closer to Sally Kern’s stated opinions than anyone here – gay, straight, ex-gay or anti-gay. She actually states that the founding fathers intended that Christianity receive preferencial treatment – and she seems determined to provide it.

    Some Christian Reconstructionists do advocate that the Constitution be replaced with Biblical Principles (their’s of course). Some couch their language in terms of war, violence, and revolution. The are a threat to our freedom.

    Personally, I am probably at greater risk as an individual from these people than I am from islamic terrorists. I can envision a scenario in which I would be considered a tool of Satan and worthy of smiting. The islamacists aren’t likely to target me.

    However, I do not in any way consider them a greater threat to our nation than terrorists, islamic or otherwise. The greatest threat to our nation is, I believe, those who have been convinced by their religious leaders that we are enemies of God and that our destruction is holy. They cannot be reasoned with and they are willing to die just to harm us.

  • Teri

    Timothy,

    They cannot be reasoned with and they are willing to die just to harm us.

    Are you talking about me, and people who believe as I do?

  • Mary

    I take it Teri – you see only black and white? My way or the highway type of thinking?

    Why can’t you live in a society that protects the rights of homosexuals. BTW, straight people have the right to marry someone they love – that is what gays are asking for. Of course – they know they have the right to marry someone they don’t love.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Jeeeepers, Teri

    Read it again. No I didn’t mean you. I’m talking about islamacist terrorists.

    Unless you are a religious terrorist, then I’m not talking about you. I think you would probably hesitate to blow up the Capital building. I think you would probably not commit suicide with a bomb in the local mall. I even think that you might hesitate – at least at for a while – before executing sinners like me.

    Or I certainly hope so.

    But you know, maybe the fact that you see yourself in those words should give you pause.

    But Teri,

    Break tradition. Answer the question Warren asked.

    Teri – I did not ask you if Rep. Kern was right to be concerned, I asked if you believe the threat is bigger than terrorism.

    Go on.

    I dare you.

    Answer the question.

  • Mary

    Teri,

    It just occurred to me – you must really empathize with Jesus – after all – look who he hung out with?? And look at the choices he had. God could have made his son KING over all of Jerusalem – but he didn’t. Satan offered him all the land – but he declined. You cannot force people to bow to a God or King – maybe Jesus knew that?? Maybe you don’t?

    And what’s the big concern over gays? I mean look a the people in your own church who are actively involved in adultery, pornography, prostitution, etc… these things contribute a lot to the disintegrating family.

  • Teri

    Timothy,

    Part of the reason, I didn’t answer all your (pl.) challenges is that I was in and out (mostly out) today. By the time I’d sit down there would be several posts, complete with at least 4-5 accusations each.

    It was simply overwhelming.

    As to Warren’s question: Do I see the LGBT ‘rights’ movement as a greater threat than terrorism?

    Not exactly. But I think they are probably related.

    All through the Old Testament God raises up nations – and He takes them down. In other words, the fate of nations is really in God’s hands. For instance:

    In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”

    Meaning He was still giving the Amorites time to repent – but there was a limit to His patience and when that limit was reached He was going to bring the Israelites in to conquer them (in fact, to wipe them out…)

    There is example after example of God raising up one nation to conquer another – in judgment for widespread, egregious sin – including Israel. Likewise I believe He also protects nations from attack.

    I have no reason to believe that God doesn’t still act in that way today. If we are attacked again, I believe it is probably a judgment (or a warning) as the result of widespread, egregious sin. (refusal to acknowledge Him or give Him thanks, abortion, pornography, euthanasia, homosexuality, etc., etc.)

    Before you burn me in effigy, let me hasten to add that I would NOT hold LGBT persons responsible. We are all responsible. In fact, I think Christians are more responsible than others because they know the truth yet 99% of them neglect to contend for it.

  • Teri

    Mary,

    All laws force someone’s morality on everyone.

    Yes, adultery, pornography, and prostitution are all sins and they all are destructive to the family. But there is no powerful movement trying to change the laws and public policy in order to protect and legitimize them.

  • Mary

    Teri,

    Did you notice how you said ” I have no reason to believe ….”

    That is indication that that is your belief (one not shared by others all the time)

    This nation will not last forever. That’s a fact. Whether it is tomorrow or ine hundred or a thousand years or more from now – time and history tell us that things will change.

    And are you aware that one of the motivating factors for the early immigrants to the New World was to avoid religious persecution? Your religion nor mine trumps that long held privilege.

  • Teri

    Mary,

    Yes, I said “I have no reason to believe” because I cannot know that for certain that God still judges nations for sin, but I think it’s a pretty good bet given what we know about His actions in the past.

    I don’t expect our nation will last forever although I do think God would preserve us for as long as we acknowledge Him and keep His law to a certain degree. (to what degree I don’t know.) Historically speaking, fidelity to Him never continues indefinitely. Nations, always seem to wander off…

    You said,

    Your religion nor mine trumps that long held privilege.

    Again, I’ve got to point out that the law is never neutral. It must necessarily reflect someone’s values and therefore it will limit the behavior of the people with opposing views by default. That’s just the way it works.

  • jayhuck

    Teri -

    There is no reason that a law has to limit law-abiding, tax paying citizens. Allowing gay people to marry, while not only being good for society, doesn’t in any way limit conservative Christians who disagree with them from living, believing and teaching as they see fit. You’re trying to drum up problems with equality where none exist. What I find amusing, is that some of your arguments were the same ones used to repress African Americans and inter-racial couples for a long time.

  • Mary

    Teri,

    I understand that if a public school teaches homosexuality as an alternative or equal lifestyle then you will feel that it is catering to the belief system of gays. I see that. (A side note – I was in Paris recently and there was an Jewish Orthodox school near where I was staying. I think to myself – if they can keep their belief intact = then so can conservative christians who are now just beginning to face such challenges) No – it won’t come as cheaply and with as many governmental benefits as it used to. It won’t be the majority of the population anymore. It won’t be popular. Many will think of it as outdated and not important. And so what. The line is not drawn out there – it is drawn with each individual. And God can’t draw that line – one person does that – one by one. And if you think you are disappointed – look around at everything you see and wonder how God must feel. Especially with those of us who call him by name??

    This is a free country and I do support that. I’m putting my faith and investment in heaven’s treasures rather than here. I see corruption everywhere – even within my own family. There’s not alot for God to honor about this nation. Topless bars, addiction, loss of family and parents, neglect, abandonment etc….

    But why draw the line now? Our public schools support separated parents, employs adulterous teachers (who teach our children) etc….

    Sort of a little late to draw the line in the sand over this issue. JMO.

  • Mary

    Never nuetral? Okay – the law of the land is freedom. It is not a religion. And some people don’t want freedom.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Teri said, “not exactly but they are probably related.”

    Let’s try to be explicit. When you discuss Amorites and God’s judgment, are you saying by extension that the terrorism we are experiencing is God’s judgment on the sin of America? This would require almost gnostic knowledge of God’s will and purposes but I want to make sure I am getting you.

    Then you say if terrorism is this visitation of judgment then it would not be because of gays, it would be because of Christians. Then perhaps Kern should have said, Christians are a bigger threat to the nation than terrorism. Or perhaps sin is a bigger threat to the nation than terrorism. If she said the former, she really would have meant the latter and would have cleared that up and that would have been the end of any controversy. If she would have said sin was a bigger threat, I doubt we would be talking now.

    In any case, we know what she said and how she said it. So can I take your answer as no, you do not believe homosexuality is a bigger threat than terrorism? It seems to me you are saying maybe and no at the same time.

  • Michael Bussee

    Teri: You said “God is the one who determines what is moral and what is not” and that this is all clearly laid out in Scripture. Too bad that human beings have to determine what Scripture actually means. The Bible may be infallible, but you are not.

    Question: Do you obey ALL Old Testament laws — or only the ones you want to impose upon us?

    As for the original question: “Is homosexuality a bigger threat than terrorism”? I decided to check it out last nioght. I went to a local gay tavern well-known for its “terrorist” activities. People were playing pool, drinking beer and “visiting” with their friends! Some were playing video poker. Seemed fishy to me…

    I could tell they were really plotting the overthrow of the givernment, the desruction of the nuclear family and the criminilaization of Christianity. You can’t fool me. They all had that “terrorist” look about them!

    Then, I disovered the secret weapon of mass destruction they intend to unleash on the American Public — tipsy lesbians singing karaoke at an ear-spplitting volume — and off key! A torture worse than waterboarding.

  • Allan

    Laws may not be neutral but they strive to be. Laws reflect the values already written into the Constitution. All men (Update! and women) are equal, and are to be seen as equal in the laws of the land; and it specifically does not limit this equality to citizens, and it does not deign to grant these rights, it says we are given them by our Creator (my mother created me, for example, with a bit of help from my father).

    Sally Kern is bound by her oath of office to uphold the Constitution, even above her religion. If she cannot do that because of her religion, she should resign immediately.

    There is precedent:

    Watch or read the first Catholic Presidential candidate John F. Kennedy’s speech to Southern Baptist ministers, promising to resign the Presidency should he ever find that his Roman Catholic religious beliefs conflict with his duties under the the U.S. Constitution.

    The Southern Baptists and others were concerned that he might follow the dictates of the Pope instead of his Oath of Office to protect and defend the Constitution (not the Bible). It is in the interests of this nation for officeholders to protect and defend the Constitution.

    NPR Link

    “If the time should ever come — and I do not concede any conflict to be remotely possible — when my office would require me to either violate my conscience or violate the national interest, then I would resign the office, and I hope any other conscientious public servant would do likewise.”

    By this standard, Sally Kern is not a conscientious public servant, as she has violated the interests of the people of her Oklahoma district, and this nation as a whole. She has told us her version of God is ordering her to violate the U.S. Constitution because it is the right thing to do, this is the time to do it, and she is the woman to do it.

    History will record that the things she is being ordered to do by her version of God are wrong and based on intentional misrepresentations of the Bible, mostly by the sources where she chooses to find lies which meet her need to advance herself politically.

    Her savaging of gay people has always been motivated by greed for power, and that greed is damaging very real, very equal men and women, in her district specifically and, because of her elevated status as an officeholder, in this nation as a whole.

    She has disgraced her office, she is an affront to the U.S. Constitution.

  • Eddie B.

    Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    The “gay agenda” that is set againts the “Christian agenda” and visa-versa will only result in hurting one-another.

  • Teri

    Allan,

    What can I say to you?

    Sally Kern has not violated the Constitution in any way. The Constitution says nothing about homosexual ‘rights’ and gives no one the right not to be offended.

    Laws CANNOT be neutral. Every law says that some particular action is wrong. Likewise, the opposite action is right. Even if it were possible, neutrality would not be desirable. Neutrality between right and wrong IS wrong.

    The best we can do is enact laws that reflect the moral values of the majority of the citizens while at the same time protecting the basic rights of individuals. As citizens we all have the right and obligation to try to persuade others to our beliefs – including Sally Kern. Note: I said individuals and basic rights. When you give rights to groups or even couples you end up infringing on the rights of individuals.

    For some reason, you expect Ms. Kern to speak and make decisions according to your values. I find that very strange. GLBT activists invent their own value system and somehow expect others to see it as superior to historical religious values.

    When those ‘religious extremists’ object, or illustrate negative aspects of the homosexual ‘rights’ movement, they are somehow ‘savaging gay people’ and revealing themselves to be bigots filled with hate, who believe LGBT persons are ‘less than human.’

    Who can argue with such ‘logic?’

  • Teri

    Jayhuck,

    You have apparently never met a less than positive fact about the homosexual ‘rights’ movement you were unable to completely ignore.

    Whatever…

  • Teri

    Warren,

    God has, in the past, judged nations for sin. That much is clear.

    In my own personal opinion (as Sally was giving her personal opinion) if we are attacked again, I believe it will be the result of God judging our nation for sin (including, but certainly in not limited to homosexual behavior).

    Can I know that for 100% certain – of course not. But it certainly fits His past dealings with mankind.

    If our nation is judged we are ALL responsible for the part our own sin has contributed to the ‘full measure,’ but I think Bible believing Christians are even more at fault than many others because they could have seen it coming but refused to look – and refused to take a stand for truth and righteousness.

    Nearly all seem to lack the courage of their stated convictions or the willingness to defend them.

  • Teri

    Michael,

    Like Jayhuck, you have apparently never encountered a less than positive aspect of the homosexual ‘rights’ movement you were unable to completely ignore.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    If everyone is responsible for God’s potential judgment, then why would you defend Sally Kern for scapegoating one small segment of the problem? GLBT people represent a small minority of the population. If our sin as a nation is responsible for terrorism, then I would think she would want to take on a group where a greater total amount of sin is happening, say with heterosexuals. Or maybe take us on for failure to feed the hungry?

    Some Christian conservatives are defending a woman’s moral view of homosexuality when that is not what she is being criticized over. She said something inflamatory, outrageous on its face, that reflects a priority for an elected leader that is really frightenting to me and this is being winked at. Apparently you do not even agree with what she said and you are defending it.

  • Michael Bussee

    Teri: On the contrary, I have seen a lot of “less than positive” aspects of BOTH the “homosexual rights movement” and the “Conservative Christian, anti-gay movement”. Hard to ignore idiocy, paranoia or hatred on either side of this debate. Sadly, neither side has a monopoly.

    You make very broad strokes. May I suggest a finer paintbrush? The vast majority of gays have nothing to do with, do not approve of and want to distance themselves from extremism — “gay” or “Christian”.

    Think what you may, but “we” — and by “we” I mean the huge “silent majority” of hardworking, constitution loving, family oriented, “moral” gay people — do not want to overthrow the government, indoctrinate or recruit your kids, destroy the nuclear family or criminlize Christianity. Paranoia needs an enemy. It seems like any group will do…

  • Teri

    Finally Mary,

    Obviously, I categorically reject the notion that this is a civil rights issue. There is no comparison between skin color or ethnicity and behavior. And besides that, where are all these multitudes of homeless, jobless, penniless LGBT people who are so oppressed that they need special laws?

    Okay – the law of the land is freedom. It is not a religion.

    Freedom for who Mary? The law is affirmative in practice. What LGBT persons consider ‘equality’ will limit freedom for conservative people of faith. Have I not have given you dozens of examples of that? Again, you may think that’s a good trade-off, but you should acknowledge the reality of it.

    I know we are a long way down the road already. Things HAVE changed tremendously. My view is no long mainstream. I know that.

    But I believe if we don’t draw the line, it will get worse – a lot worse…

    I observe the laws that LGBT activists in are implementing in Canada and overseas. I have no reason to believe they would not do the same thing here, if they are allowed to. A review:

    -Private religious schools in Great Britain are now prohibited from teaching Biblical sexual morality as if it is ‘objectively true’

    -Anglican bishops are heavily fined for refusing to hire homosexual youth workers

    -speech critical of homosexuality is now punishable by up to 7 years in prison. Prison for speech…

    I’m looking at that and what am I to think? It tells me, they will not stop of their own accord. There is no end to it.

    Consider Jayhuck, Michael, and Allan: they cannot even bring themselves to acknowledge that these laws effect everyone, not just LGBT persons.

    What can I say? I’m not expecting or desiring your sympathy. Christ has been clear that we WILL have trouble.

    I was just hoping for some honesty and acknowledgment of reality.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    On September 13, 2001, Jerry Falwell said the following, to which Pat Robertson “totally concurred”:

    I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way–all of them who have tried to secularize America–I point the finger in their face and say “you helped this happen.”

    I’ve always thought that was both hateful and nutty and wondered who in their right mind believed this kind of stuff. Now I know.

  • Mary

    Teri,

    The tax laws and family laws in this country are prohibitive to gay people. No they are not all homeless and in poverty. But they deserve the same access to health care as a husband or wife. The access to health care for shared children. The same access and protection under the law when it comes to inheritance, property transfers, etc… laws

    And consider that Canada and Great Britain have different constitutions?? Did that ever occur to you? They are not this country. Your assumption is reaching for a tragic end.

    That you categorically dismiss this as a civil rights issue – speaks louder than anything else – you do not know any gay people or anything about living gay in this country. You see these people as objects to control rather than people. And consider this – what if all people who listened to country music were denied rights? Obviously something a person can change – but definitely an infringement on their rights.

    Where would many families be if they did not have access to health care? Access to property transfers without tax consequences? You get moved out of your hmes when a father dies in an accident. Your mom can’t come and see you at the hospital when you are sick. You can’t get your own children the best health care in the world because a group of christians have decided that your lifestyle is not worth protecting. Discriminatory decisions last generations and effects others besides those you target. How christian is that??

    You feel threatened. I understand that. And yes, your life because of the culture you live in is going to change. You can decided to diminish other peoples lives or contribute with the heart of God as your source. You never have to accept what other people do – you only have to respond with grace and mercy and compassion. We will be judged by the way we judge others. (that is in the bible)

  • Michael Bussee

    Teri: You have me wrong. I do acknowledge that laws effect every one. As I said before — if, and I do mean IF all that you are saying is true, and there is a systematic homosexual “agenda” to overthrow the government, recruit and indoctrinate your kids, destroy your families, criminalize and jail Christians, etc. I am totally against it.

    I am a patriotic, freedom-loving citizen. I want equal rights, not “special” ones. I am a father, a son and a brother. I love my family. I work as a marriage and family therapist. I believe in the importance of strong, loving, healthy families — and work very I hard to keep, yes, even the heterosexual ones together.

    I am a born-again Christian. I have no desire to limit the freedoms of Christians. Why would I? That would hurt me too. I have no desire to jail them, persecute them or outlaw them. I want freedom for even the hateful and stupid ones to speak and live their faith — as long as they are willing to give others that same freedom.

    Who is this “they” that you keep referring to when you assert that “they will not stop of their own accord. There is no end to it.” You must think us monsters.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Teri proposes two mutually exclusive positions:

    A. a society in which all persons are treated as equal

    B. a society in which a specific religious belief trumps the rights of all others

    Now I don’t believe that rights for conservative Christians and rights for gay people are mutually exclusive. I think that society can allow adherence to religious belief and allow civil equality for gay people.

    But were this dichotomy true, I would have to side with the principles and policies that try to make a place for all persons.

    Otherwise, if you decide that conservative Christians’ need to condemn gays is a right that supercedes any gay person’s right, you next can decide that the right of Jews or Catholics or liberal Methodists can also be dismissed.

    I am at times troubled by some things that happen on foreign soil that appear to be dismissive and controlling of religion. And even here I find excesses and rhetoric that bother me.

    But I am unwilling to (as Sally Kern calls for) give “preference to [conservative] Christianity”. I’ve seen the nations and societies that let religions dictate law and I’ve yet to see one that I would want to live in.

  • Nick R

    I find it hard to listen to Teri because of her narrow focus. For example, she keeps arguing about behavior versus something immutable. Well, Christianity can be described as a behavior that can be changed. Yet Christians are protected in hate crime laws, in laws prohibiting discrimination, etc. The way the law currently stands, if a Christian is murdered for no other reason than being a Christian, that is a hate crime. If a gay man is murdered for no other reason than being a gay man, that is not a hate crime. So, we recognize hate was the motivation for the murder of the Christian but not the gay man. Well, if it’s not motivated by hate, what exactly is the motivation? A gay man cannot deny housing to a Christian, even if he finds their beliefs or actions morally reprehensible, but a Christian has every right to deny housing to a gay man. Quite the double standard you have there. Christians find all these rights “special” because they already have them and seemingly don’t want anyone else to receive the same special privileges they get. They simply don’t want to treat others the way they expect to get treated.

    Every time you mention gays, replace the word with Christian. Then reread what you say. I do not doubt for a minute you would consider the speech hateful and the actions persecutory.

    Furthermore, the notion that God is going to destroy us because of immorality puzzles me. I connect this argument to the one that says we are not as moral as we used to be. So, God turned a blind eye to brutal slavery, child labor, internment camps for Japanese-Americans, forced electro-shock therapy, hysterectomies, etc for gays, child labor, age of consent of 10 for girls, and on and on and on. But my goodness, treat gays with dignity and respect and God is going to smite this country! Sounds like a god not worth worshiping.

  • Mary

    Well Nick, there are some good things that came out of this country and there are some not so good things. Sexual abuse and promiscuity are, in my opinion, at an all time high.

  • Mary

    Teri – I have a question.

    Should Muslim or Islamic rules dictate your life? Or how about Judaic laws? Or should we teach only Taoism in the classes?

  • jayhuck

    Teri,

    You have apparently never met a less than positive fact about the homosexual ‘rights’ movement you were unable to completely ignore.

    I have met less-than-positive gay people, I have also met less-than-positive straight people – I have seen bad trends occurring in straight populations and I have seen bad trends in gay populations – HOWEVER, I do not judge entire groups like this based on such info.

  • Michael Bussee

    Warren is right on with this one: “If our sin as a nation is responsible for terrorism, then I would think she would want to take on a group where a greater total amount of sin is happening, say with heterosexuals. Or maybe take us on for failure to feed the hungry?”

    Maybe. But hey, Kern wouldn’t want to take on all those over-fed and self-indulgent straight people — they probably vote for her. Nope. Gays make a much easier target.

  • Mary

    I dunno Michael. It does irk me and just makes me really mad that all of sudden people want to draw the line. It’s like they want to say okay – my people are allowed to screw up in these ways because it is their right to (sex clubs, bars, etc.. – you know my rant) and then they want to say but when it comes to those gays – while that’s it!! Doesn’t make sense. You would think that she would want to take on a group of people that are dictating the corruption more – say – government?

  • Teri

    Forgive me. I don’t have the time to address you all individually.

    Warren,

    I do not believe Sally Kern was ‘scapegoating’ anyone. She didn’t say homosexuals are terrorists. She said that homosexuality is a more dangerous threat to this country as terrorism. I’m not sure how you gauge which represents a greater threat but she has the right to her opinion. She never said or even hinted that LGBT people are like terrorists.

    Homosexuality is not only destructive to society, it is extremely destructive to the people who engage in it. Homosexual behavior comes with its own terrible consequences for both individuals and society that have nothing to do with terrorism. The destruction of freedom that I’ve been talking about is only one of those consequences.

    The homosexual ‘rights’ movement represents a greater threat than the other issues because it is organized and powerful. Very few Christians actually give it the attention it demands. It is growing exponentially and it has the benefit of multi-million dollar lobbies promoting it to both adults and children alike.

    I am not targeting the population either Warren. I am targeting the behavior. You seem to be unable to make that distinction.

  • jayhuck

    Teri,

    Homosexuality is not only destructive to society, it is extremely destructive to the people who engage in it. Homosexual behavior comes with its own terrible consequences for both individuals and society that have nothing to do with terrorism. The destruction of freedom that I’ve been talking about is only one of those consequences.

    I’m pretty sure we are all aware of what Kern said and did not say.

    As to your quote above – that is the rhetoric we keep hearing from so many on the extreme ends of the religious right. These people have to believe such things in order to further their own particular agenda – and to give some proof and validation to their faith and what they believe it says. It doesn’t matter how many healthy homosexuals there are, how many healthy and happy homosexual couples there are, or how many healthy gay families there are – it will never matter as long as there are conservative groups willing to twist other people’s research or to twist and distort facts to support their agenda out there – because there are many anti-gay/prejudiced people out there willing to eat up any and all anti-gay information instead of critically analyzing it – for the reasons I gave above. This is all very sad, because real Truth gets lost in the process.

  • http://www.newdirection.ca wendy

    I’ve been glancing through the posts over the last while …. and it makes me sad and tired. Kudos to those of you who are staying engaged …. I’m not sure I would have the patience and long-suffering you do.

    Teri, let me ask you this. Are you currently invested in friendship relationships with any of your gay neighbors? In what ways are you seeking to be the presence of Jesus to the gay people you encounter …. including those gay people you’re encountering on this blog? Is proving your point more important than reflecting the humble, servant-heart of Jesus?

    Until you can demonstrate that you not only have but continue to sit with gay and lesbian neighbors through their joys and sorrows, listening to their experiences past and present and are moved with love and compassion, I would challenge you that the truth you seek to defend and stand for is sounding an awful lot like a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

    If the manner in which we stand for truth does not sing with the delightful presence of Jesus – we simply contribute to the alienation of dearly loved children of God. It is this alienation that followers of Christ ought to be deeply grieved and in prayer about.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Sally Kern – Take note

    Well done, Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Well said, Wendy.

    Teri said:

    I do not believe Sally Kern was ‘scapegoating’ anyone. She didn’t say homosexuals are terrorists. She said that homosexuality is a more dangerous threat to this country as terrorism. I’m not sure how you gauge which represents a greater threat but she has the right to her opinion. She never said or even hinted that LGBT people are like terrorists.

    A is worse than B. A is equal to B. If B is a bad thing, which is the worst insult?

  • http://JustHisWords.com Allan

    Teri,

    You have apparently never met a positive fact about gays that you were unwilling to completely ignore, twist or lie about.

    In my first attempt after all these years to attempt to dialogue with your kind, I’ve found that my worst pre-judgments were absolutely correct. I won’t again waste my time trying to converse with anyone claiming to be a fundamentalist or anti-gay Christian.

    I will urge, in the strongest terms possible, that no gay person ever expose themselves to your kind of virulent toxicity.

    This may be just another place for you to bash gays, but to me it was quite an exercise in attempting to stretch my boundaries to include you. There are many people on here who do not agree with you, but you treat their opinions like dirt under your feet also. There are just too many supremacists of your kind around to take the risk of subjecting myself to your lack of knowledge again.

    I’ll go back to sticking with my own kind, you’ll be pleased to know. “My kind” don’t find it necessary to force their religious opinions down anyone else’s throats, as you do. Gay people can have equality, can be treated equally under the law, without any Christians losing any rights or any freedoms. You will just have to work harder at living your lives the way you want, and you won’t be allowed to damage gay people in the process. Whether you like it or not, this is not a Christian nation, and the Constitution protects all of us normal people from people such as you.

    I weakened a bit by coming here and spending so much time. I’ve never spent this much time on any message board about any subject, and because I am disabled I spend much of my life online.

    You have succeeded in hardening my resolve to do everything I can to make sure that your supremacist ideas continue to receive the ridicule and rejection that they deserve. You have convinced me that no, you do not deserve a fair and equal hearing because your kind refuses allow anyone else to be heard or acknowledged. You don’t discuss; you demand, lie and insult. Not once, in all these postings and all the points others tried to make (and succeeded), did you demonstrate decency.

    You are not like Jesus of Nazareth of the Bible, you show more of the viper. You are also quite un-American in the sense that you are anti-Constitutional, just like Sally Kern. Your type of Christian is the kind who expresses “God’s love” with signs saying God Hates Homosexuals. Frankly, you seem to be quite the turd in the holy water. I won’t be Kerned again.

    BTW, I’ll read the rest of this thread as it continues but I won’t be posting again, so I included my website address this time though I hadn’t before. I’ll leave the stronger folks to carry on. My faith is not even as big as a mustard seed. I am fond of saying that it is only as big as the space taken up in my brain by the memory of a mustard seed.

  • Teri

    Allan,

    I have not called anyone any names. I have said nothing even remotely personal. (Although I know you take it very personally.) On the other hand, you have called me a Christian supremacist, and a viper, compared me to Fred Phelps, accused me of lying and disseminating propaganda, being an extremist, preferring an authoritarian society, being un-American and believing I am superior to gay people. Last of all you are sure I would be one of those protestors carrying signs that “God Hates Fags.” None of that is true.

    I do apologize for not addressing all the challenges you and others made and changing the subject. As I said, I was in and out and there were so many challenges – from everyone… I now realize that if I ever blog with more than 2 LGBT persons I will have to devote the whole day to it because my views are so opposite your own that there is just no way to keep up…

    I acknowledge after rereading the entire thread that my posts do sometimes sound terse. It’s not that I felt terse when I wrote them, but I was concentrating on clarity, not diplomacy. I also made a couple of comments to other bloggers that, in retrospect sound flippant and I wish I hadn’t made them, but Allan, it seems to me that there is no way to express my beliefs without offending you – because you, like most of the others, insist on equating the behavior with the person.

    For the record:

    I don’t think LGBT persons are worse than terrorists (that’s not what SK said anyway)

    I do not consider LGBT persons to be lesser human beings

    God certainly loves LGBT persons

    I do not consider myself superior to LGBT persons

    I do my best to be truthful in all that I say.

    Fred Phelps is an evil man

    Hope that helps some.

  • Nick R

    You would think some people would take pause and reflect on the more they “Christian love” people, the more the recipients of the “love” want nothing to do with Christ. You would think they would take pause and reflect, but of course they don’t.

  • Michael Bussee

    Teri: Yes, what you said above does help some. Thanks. Now do more. Take Wendy’s suggestion: Demonstrate that you not only have but continue to sit with gay and lesbian neighbors through their joys and sorrows, listening to their experiences past and present and are moved with love and compassion,” Cause up to this point, I agree with her — It is “sounding an awful lot like a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”

    .

    You said: “She (Kern) said that homosexuality is a more dangerous threat to this country as terrorism. I’m not sure how you gauge which represents a greater threat but she has the right to her opinion.” I agree. Every one has the right to be wrong. Maybe the recent news that she is metting with and listening to families of “GLBT loved ones in her district”” will make her bell a little less “clangy”. Might help yours, too.

  • Michael Bussee

    Come to think of it, my “bell” could use some fine-tuning too.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton//2008/03/24/sally-kern-what-should-she-do/ Craig

    Today’s Proverb; Prov 28:12 reads, “When righteous men do rejoice, there is great glory: but when the wicked rise, a man is hidden.” The commentator clarifies the meaning by saying; “The world is pushing legislation and popular opinion against Bible Christianity. Laws are being drafted to classify Bible preaching as a hate crime. The Koran is allowed, but not the Bible or Christian prayer. Christians are hiding by schooling their children at home or in Christian schools, avoiding public discussion of Bible morality and righteousness, seeking to move to the country, isolating themselves from community interaction, and/or not running for public offices. The political trends are costing the nation its best citizens.”

    If homosexuality is OK, and deserving of equal “Civil” rights, as these advocates say, then why are we afraid to discuss it in the open?

    For all the public and private discourse about homosexuality and attempts to normalize it in our culture through the media, our schools and legislation, you’d think Sally Kerns comments would have been broadcasted on all the major news networks. But it wasn’t. When Jim Dobson was on Larry King, an audience question was submitted; “Which do you think is more dangerous to America’s future, radical Islam or radical Liberalism?” Dr Dobson’s answer was edited by CNN. Why wasn’t the lewd and sic behavior at the Folsom St Festival in San Fran covered by the media? Homosexuals claim Christians are intolerant when the truth is that we are way too tolerant of their demands for civil acceptance. The Proverb says it all.

  • Teri

    Michael,

    At the risk of enraging you further, let me say this:

    I neither seek out, nor avoid homosexual persons. (I see no reason to do either.) Would I deliberately seek out people engaged in other forms of sexual sin? (OK. I’ve used the ‘S’ word again so you will probably be wanting to get out he Teri voodoo doll and start sticking pins in it…)

    When I have encountered homosexual persons in the course of life, I have treated them no differently than I have treated anyone else.) The topic of discussion here has never come up, nor would I deliberately bring it up. Having said that, if they were to share their beliefs with me, I would share my beliefs with them. ‘Love’ without truth is hypocrisy.

    I have no doubt that what you have said here is true:

    the huge “silent majority” of hardworking, constitution loving, family oriented, “moral” gay people — do not want to overthrow the government, indoctrinate or recruit your kids, destroy the nuclear family or criminalize Christianity.

    But, alas these are not the people pushing law and public policy.

    The people pushing law and public policy have clearly stated their goals and they are nothing short of radical. See beyondmarriage.org.

    BTW, I have never claimed, nor do I believe, that LGBT people want to “overthrow the government.”

    Now. Am I still sounding like a clanging cymbal? Because I can’t be any less ‘clangy’ than this and still communicate with any degree of clarity and honesty…

  • Michael Bussee

    Teri: You don’t have to “seek out, nor avoid homosexual persons.” We are pretty much invisble. We are everywhere. You interact with us everyday.

    I never said that you said that all GLBT people are terrorists, just that it is hateful and ridiculous for Kern to say that we pose a bigger threat than terrorists do. That kind of language inflames anti-gay fear and hatred — and can result in anti-gay violence. I am the surivivor of such “terrorism”. My best friend wasn’t so lucky.

    I don’t object to you saying that you believe that homosexual behavior is “sin”. You have every right to believe it and say it. I don’t happen to agree, but you have the right to say it. As I said before, some Southern Baptists think dancing is a sin… Every person must live and act according to his/her own conscience — so long as they do not try to deprive others of their basic, God-given rights.

    I know you are frightened, but the extremists (on both sides of this debate) who are “the people pushing law and public policy” will not win. In the end, I simply do not believe that the American people, regardless of their spiritual or sexual orientation, will allow extremists, bigots and fear-mongers to prevail.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    I don’t think LGBT persons are worse than terrorists (that’s not what SK said anyway)

    I do not consider LGBT persons to be lesser human beings

    God certainly loves LGBT persons

    I do not consider myself superior to LGBT persons

    I do my best to be truthful in all that I say.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah.

    It isn’t gay people that are worse, it is their homosexuality.

    Sure.

    And it isn’t black people that racists dislike, it’s their race.

    The problem with that sort of distinction is that it is never ever ever illustrated in practice. You see, Teri, in your long list of grievances it wasn’t “homosexuality” that you objected to, it was gay people. And the same is true in what anti-gays want to do to gay people.

    It isn’t homosexuality that cannot serve in the miliatary, it’s gay people.

    It isn’t homosexuality that anti-gays want to lose medical coverage in Florida, it’s gay people.

    It isn’t homosexuality that anti-gays want to not be able to meet in Gay-Straight Alliances on campus, it’s gay kids.

    It isn’t from homosexuality that anti-gays want to take away their children, it’s gay people.

    And the list goes on. And it is always – every single time – people who are targeted.

    And it wasn’t homosexuality that Kern was complaining about. Not really. It was people.

    It was people, incidentally, that she identified by name or description when she was calling them a bigger threat than terrorism. It was Ted Trimpa, Pat Stryker, John Stryker, Jared Polis, and Rutt Bridges. It was the gay city counselmen in Eureka Springs, Pittsburg, Tacoma, Kinsington, and West Palm Beach. It was a school teacher that worked with her.

    And it was especially Tim Gill.

    So Teri and Sally and whoever can claim that they “love”, but when they start claiming that “homosexuality” is worse than terrorism and then start naming names it’s pretty clear that this distinction is little more than semantical game.

    Now, there are people who are opposed to homosexuality and actually can make that distinction. Quite a few of them commented on this thread: Wendy, Warren, Mary, and others.

    And some of them disagree with me on civil policies – well, so far, but I’m hoping. :)

    But you would do well to read their words and consider just how much of a distinction you really are making.

  • Mary

    Timothy,

    I am not opposse to homosexuality. I am opposed to homosexuality for myself.

  • http://anziulewicz.livejournal.com Chuck Anziulewicz

    It is always – every single time – people who are targeted. And it wasn’t homosexuality that Kern was complaining about. Not really. It was people.

    Absolutely correct, Timothy. Sally Kern has been trying to do damage control, saying it’s not really individual Gay people she’s against, just their wicked “agenda.”

    Imagine Ms. Kern saying, “I have nothing against individual terrorists; it’s TERRORISM that I’m against!”

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    I have no doubt that what you have said here is true:

    the huge “silent majority” of hardworking, constitution loving, family oriented, “moral” gay people — do not want to overthrow the government, indoctrinate or recruit your kids, destroy the nuclear family or criminalize Christianity.

    But, alas these are not the people pushing law and public policy.

    Teri,

    I think that you suffer from a misconception that is common to those who don’t know any gay people well.

    Often anti-gays think that there are two types: the radical extremists who dance naked in the street and argue for gay rights, and the nice polite quite “good gays” who just want to be left alone and who don’t want all those ‘rights’.

    They justify their anti-gay policies by believing that the real regular gays don’t want all that anyway. They don’t want marriage equality or equal taxes or adoption or military service. They just want to stay in the closet and occasionally throw a dinner party or work on the City Beautification Committee. They are “good gays”.

    This is incorrect.

    The quiet homebody who lives a very sedate life and who is a good citizen and waters your plants when you’re on vacation also wants gay equality.

    A lot of white folk were surprised in the 70′s to discover that their maid wasn’t content with riding in the back of the bus. They couldn’t fathom that the “good negro” really felt he had the right to sit at the Woolworth’s lunch counter and didn’t want to be relegated to the ‘coloreds only’ fountain. Surely he “knew his place”, didn’t he?

    Well those “silent majority” of gays that Michael talks about ARE pushing law and public policy. They do write letters to their congressman. They do give money and walk precints and talk to their neighbors and friends.

    Even “good gays” don’t want to be second class citizens.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Mary

    I am not opposse to homosexuality. I am opposed to homosexuality for myself.

    Sorry. I should have been more clear.

  • Mary

    I understand. Not trying to split hairs but it is important to clarify sometimes. Thanks.

  • Mary

    Teri,

    I don’t see how beyond marriage is an infringement on your christianity. Truly – it encompasses many kind of families we experience. Single parent families, non-conjugal household families (for example: when my mother and I shared a household) senior citizens who lose social security benfits if they remarry etc… Do you read anywhere in the bible when Joseph the earthly father of Jesus dies? Where is he when Jesus is at the cross? Did Jesus have brothers and sisters? Were they being raised in a one parent home? How about in Luke’s recount of the story when Jesus is left behind and later found in the temple. Does it not talk about the relatives of Joseph and Mary? Who are these families? Who are the people in Jesus’ family? Beyond marriage would allow for Jesus’ mother, brothers and sisters (of a minor age) to be taken care of. What is unchristian about that?

  • Teri

    Tim,

    By your logic, laws that prohibit drug use, speeding, and polygamy discriminate against people too – drug addicts, speeders and polygamists.

  • jayhuck

    Craig,

    Why wasn’t the lewd and sic behavior at the Folsom St Festival in San Fran covered by the media?

    It was covered by some local media – most gay pride parades and festivals are – What you fail to see is that gay pride parades often reflect the widely diverse group of individuals that make up the gay community. You will have people who are rather conservative at these events as well as those who are more “liberal” – the large majority of homosexuals, in my experience, do not participate in the actual parade, so you don’t see them. Its not any different than looking at a population of heterosexuals – which will be made up of conservative individuals and those that would probably be described, in your eyes, as lewd and sick!

  • Teri

    Tim,

    I was assuming, perhaps wrongly, that most homosexual people are apolitical – like their heterosexual counterparts.

    Are you saying that all or most homosexuals support naked dancing in the streets, want to overthrow the govt., indoctrinate all kids and destroy the nuclear family?

    I know that beyondmarriage.org represent the goals of most of the activists.

    Are they the goals of most homosexuals?

    Are they your goals?

  • Grace

    I don’t get what is offensive about this, personally. A lot of Americans probably listen to this for themselves and wonder what the problem is. It’s commonsense information.

    When I was young and immersed in a liberal college, I hated Christian Right people fiercely! I actually lived a gay lifestyle for five or six years. Now I’m in my late thirties, married with a child, and my outlook is much different. I see now that I was troubled when I was younger, for a lot of reasons. It was easy then to strike out at conservative people, much like the way you’d get mad at “mean” authority figures when you were in grade school.

  • Teri

    Mary,

    To the best of my knowledge no one has ever claimed that a single parent with children is not a family.

    Beyond Marriage calls for legal recognition for both polygamy and ‘households in which there is more than one conjugal partner (polyamory).’ I’m not talking about religious freedom here. I’m talking about validating chaos.

    Obviously, behavior that society approves and validates, will spread. Being inherently unstable, I believe that such arrangements would be tragic for children. A child needs (although they don’t always get) their mother and their father. I believe we should do everything we can to encourage that.

    Do you really think legal status to polygamous and polyamorous groups is a good idea?

    Is denying them that status unjust discrimination?

  • jayhuck

    Teri,

    Validating Chaos??? Polygamy is a Biblically-based form of family – I don’t personally go out and try to champion the rights of these families, but I don’t see why rights shouldn’t be given to them.

  • Mary

    So Teri – you have made the leap to polygamy. If homosexuals can get married – polygamy is next. well, maybe so. That’s their religion. BTW, I did not see the more than 1 conjugal partner in the beyond marriage. I just skimmed the page. And for the record I don’t like the idea of polygamy either. But that’s not my religion. And what about households of my mother and I? Can’t she recieve my health care benfits under family member??

  • Mary

    Teri – can we stay focused. You moved from homosexuals to polygamists.

  • http://anziulewicz.livejournal.com Chuck Anziulewicz

    Why let ANYONE, heterosexual or homosexual, get married? After all, you’re just one step from monogamy to polygamy. If you allow a man to marry ONE woman, who’s to say he shouldn’t be allowed to marry TWO?

    My point being this: The connection between Gay marriage and polygamy is as much a red herring as the connection between Straight marriage and polygamy.

  • Teri

    Mary,

    You can find “more than one conjugal partner” in the bullet points.

    We made the leap to polygamy because beyondmarriage.org is a manifesto created by and endorsed by hundreds of self-described GLBT activists – scholars, artists, lawyers, journalists and community organizers including Gloria Steinham, Cornel West, and Terrence McNally and over 90 professors from top schools.

    Matt Foreman of GLTF said this about it,

    “Ninety percent of what is in that document could have been signed onto by virtually every person working in the gay movement today.”

    These are the LGBT ‘movers and shakers’ and these are their goals.

    I mentioned it in making a distinction between the activists and other GLBT people. When you seemed to suggest that Beyond Marriage was no big deal I just wanted to clarify if you actually knew what was in it. (Apparently you didn’t.)

    I guess the question remains that once you do away with one man, one woman as the definition of marriage, you are going to have to come up with a new definition. On what basis will that definition rest?

    Chuck, I don’t think it’s a red herring at all.

    If the foundation is merely ‘love’ – there will be no legal basis to discriminate against other people who love each other. Not trying to get us off track but it’s something to think about…

  • concerned

    Nick R

    You are also ignoring scientic research that points to many different factors influencing ones attraction. Be careful who you call a bigot, much of what you have stated about Teri is equally as discriminating and bigotted.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Teri,

    You really need to stop believing the propaganda put out by hate sites.

    I know that beyondmarriage.org represent the goals of most of the activists.

    These are the LGBT ‘movers and shakers’ and these are their goals.

    Nope. This group is not representative of either the gay community or of those who are currently the leaders of our movement. We do not want to get “beyond marriage” but are fighting for equality.

    Beyondmarriage was subject to much derision from within the community when they came out with their left-over leftist proclamation.

    I’m curious about something.

    Do you really care about whether they are “movers and shakers”? Or are you just trying to make points or “win” some argument?

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Teri,

    Tim,

    I was assuming, perhaps wrongly, that most homosexual people are apolitical – like their heterosexual counterparts.

    Are you saying that all or most homosexuals support naked dancing in the streets, want to overthrow the govt., indoctrinate all kids and destroy the nuclear family?

    What I was saying – as you very clearly understood but pretended not to in order to make some specious argument - is that gay people want equal rights.

    Thanks for proving that you have no interest in honest communication. Jesus must be very proud of you.

  • Teri

    Tim,

    I did misunderstand you.

    I thought you meant that I was making an artificial distinction between activists and ordinary LGBT people where none exists – that you were all pretty much on the same page. (contradicting Michael’s assertion)

    Of course it matters whether BM is supported by the movers and shakers. If it were just some fringe group, who would care? Fringe groups don’t have the power to change things.

    You might want to look at the list of signatories before you declare it to be unrepresentative of ‘mainstream’ GLBT activists. It is very long and has an awful lot of influential people on it.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Teri,

    By your logic, laws that prohibit drug use, speeding, and polygamy discriminate against people too – drug addicts, speeders and polygamists.

    Sigh.

    A person that has never taken a drug is not a drug addict. A person who has never set foot to pedel is not a speeder. A person who has never married is not a polygamist.

    Yet every single solitary gay person I have EVER come across was aware of their same-sex attraction long before they ever even knew what it meant, much less acted upon it.

    And further, discrimination is not only against gay persons that “behave” in some manner. Virginal gay persons are banned from the military if they even so much as tell someone of their orientation. Gay children in schools are frequently beaten and sometimes killed for being gay – though they’ve never so much as kissed another person.

    The reason why you refuse to recognize orientation isn’t because it isn’t real. The reason why you demand that gay means behavior is because it allows you to be cruel and nasty and pretend that you aren’t.

    The truth is that your policies are cruel. And arbitrary. And based in animus.

    But you don’t like that. So if you tell yourself that it’s a behavior you are punishing, then you can claim righteousness.

    Fine. Go on with your self-congratulatory cruely and arrogance. Tell yourself you are a warrior for God.

    I’m not going to argue with you anymore. Go be right. You don’t answer to me. You can explain your actions to God some day.

    In fact, I hope you are very public about this. It is attitudes like your that save me a whole lot of persuation when I talk to those who aren’t motivated by whatever motivates you.

    The only downside is that many many people will be turned away from God through the words you say and the behaviors you demonstrate in His name.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Teri,

    I did look at the list. And unlike you, I know who is influential in my community and who is left-over from the 70′s.

  • Nick R

    If Teri is Christ’s ambassador, then I want nothing to do with Christ.

  • Teri

    Mary,

    I’m sorry I forgot to answer your question about your mother. I don’t know enough about the ramifications of healthcare coverage to say whether or not I think she should be covered under your plan.

    However, I thought that everyone 65 and older had Medicare.

    I am sure that it is not necessary to legally recognize all the ‘household configurations’ listed on that page in order to get your mother healthcare coverage.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    I thought you meant that I was making an artificial distinction between activists and ordinary LGBT people where none exists – that you were all pretty much on the same page. (contradicting Michael’s assertion)

    There are always disagreements within any community. And there are always loons out there seeking attention.

    But other than a few nuts, we are in agreement on the notion that gay people should all receive the exact same rights, benefits, obligations, and recognition that heterosexual people enjoy. Leftist loons believe that. Right-wing apologists believe that. Average Joe auto-body shop worker believes that. Signers of the beyondmarriage.org petition believe that. Stonewall Democrats believe that. Log Cabin Republicans believe that. Writers at queerty believe that. Writers as indegayforum believe that. Catholics believe that. Baptists believe that. MCC members believe that. Wiccans believe that.

    Gay people – all of us – are in agreement that we are entitled to equality.

  • Teri

    Well I think I’m done aggravating all of you. It has been both challenging and interesting but I’m sure this conversation is probably now doing more harm than good so I think it best to close.

    God’s best to you all.

    -Teri

    John 8:32

  • Mary

    Teri,

    Your lack of understanding the “ramifications” about what benefits are available to a family shows that you have no knowledge of the financial discrimination that occurs to gays. (At the time my mom and I shared a household – she was not anywhere near 65) How long do you think I should wait and let her go without healthcare? 10 years? That’s about $400.00 x 12 x 10 = $48,000. Now let’s add in medication? Or does that not count?

  • Nick R

    God’s best to you all.

    -Teri

    John 8:32

    Matthew 8:15-23

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    John 8:32

    Absolutely.

    Along with John 8:31 and Matthew 25:31-46

  • Michael Bussee

    Teri: For the record, I have never asserted most gays are “apolitical” or that “we’re all pretty much on the same page” There are gay extremists and straight extremists. But, most folks are not

    We gays are as varied in our politcal beliefs and practices as straights are. Bring up politics in a gay bar — and you will notice marked diversity, not unaminity of opinion. Ever talk to a conservative, Republican gay person? It’s weird…

    My point is, that when Kern says that homosexuality is a “bigger threat than terrorism”, she only fans the flames of anti-gay hatred and fear — and she reveals that she is only an extremist who has been listening only to extremists.

    Now that she is meeting with some real gay people and their families, perhaps she will disover that the only threat we may pose is that she might have to let go of some of her fear and prejudice.. .

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Ever talk to a conservative, Republican gay person? It’s weird…

    Ahem… I’ll accept an apology now, Michael

    ;)

    Well… actually I’m more libertarian. I’m fiscally conservative and socially moderate. But really, even the conservative Republican gays favor equality. I know a lot of them.

  • Mary

    Ever meet a gay person who does not want marriage rights because of the lawyer’s fees.

  • http://www.exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    Michael said:

    Ever talk to a conservative, Republican gay person? It’s weird…

    Excuse me??? I can’t believe you even said that.

  • Eddy

    Holy Buckets! I’m glad I got distracted from this one.

    Timothy, David–

    The beliefs (and the attitude) expressed by Teri completely justify the work you are doing.

    Teri–

    I don’t know how to say it but, up til reading your diatribes, I never had any real trouble saying I’m a conservative Christian. I’m an ex-gay myself due to those Christian beliefs but I don’t think I’d be comfortable at all in your church.

    Allan–

    Although a lot of what you said was ‘heavy’, I found your genuineness refreshing. I hope you’ll speak again on another topic sometime.

    Best laughs of the day:

    I absolutely loved the verse slinging! (There was a Raymond episode where Peter Boyle and Fred Willard were having a prayer battle….)

    And Teri’s comment that ‘this conversation is now probably causing more harm than good’. LOL. The conversation reached that point long, long ago.

    And, oh, as an elected person, Kern was totally irresponsible in her statement and, at the very least, owes an apology to the gays in the district she serves. If she cannot sincerely apologize, she should step down or be removed from her position. (Is she up for re-election this fall?)

  • http://www.exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    Thanks Eddy. I have to admit, Teri and others, esp those in the Church, who not only aren’t concerned about Kern but are encouraging her in her rants, that just saddens me.

    Teri acts like someone Screwtape would have had his nephew arrange to meet their patient. I hope someone helps her understand that some day.

  • Mary

    David,

    She probably never read the book.

  • Michael Bussee

    Timothy and David: I didn’t mean that there was something wrong with being a “conservative, Republican gay person.” Just that it was somewhat of a Twilight Zone experience for me… :)

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Michael,

    Yeah it can be easy to make assumptions about the community. Everyone does it and it is true that many of the more vocal leaders in the community are closer to the liberal end of the political spectrum.

    But roughly 25% of self-identified gays and lesbians voted Republican in the past few presidential elections.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    As comparison, in 2004 Bush got 23% of the gay vote.

    That’s more than African-Americans (11%), self identified “Liberals” (13%), and about the same as Jews (25%).

  • Michael Bussee

    Bush got 23% of the gay vote in 2004? 25% of self-identified gays and lesbians voted Republican in the past few presidential elections”? Wow. My head iis spinning. Those statstics surprise me, but there’s always hope, right?

  • Michael Bussee

    Wait! I think I did see a conservative Republican gay person — out the window of the plane — trying to gnaw off the wing…!!! :)

  • Mary

    Nick,

    I was reviewing the meesages and came across yours :

    If Teri is Christ’s ambassador, then I want nothing to do with Christ

    Just so you know, she may claim Christ as hers – and yet Christ is for everyone. Not everyone is like her – and I don’t I know her Christ.

  • http://www.exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    Timothy and David: I didn’t mean that there was something wrong with being a “conservative, Republican gay person.” Just that it was somewhat of a Twilight Zone experience for me… :)

    Yeah, I can see how that could be – if you are expecting one point of view to go with a certain kind of person, it challenges your preconceptions, even those based on experience. That’s a good thing, though. At least you didn’t say some of your best friends are gay conservative republicans… ;)

  • jayhuck

    Michael,

    Was that a LEFT wing? ;)

  • Michael Bussee

    David: Darn! I was about to say that “some of my best friends are gay conservative republicans!” And some even claim to be “ex-republican” — but I suspect they haven’t really “changed”.

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  • Scott S

    I read in here that the gays don’t want to all be lumped together as radical gay activists. I take particular offense to the gays lumping all the Christians together as hypocritical gay haters. I have known gay people, I lived in Montrose in Houston for several years, pretty hard to avoid gay people there. I have yet to meet one I hate. But because I believe the Bible says that homosexuality is a sin and is immoral it makes me a gay hater. I don’t hate the gay, I hate the sin, but I am not going to hold it against that person. I have my own sinful battles to fight and I hope that a gay person (or anyone else) wouldn’t hold that against me. The difference between me and those working the radical gay agenda is I am not asking for any special rights or treatment because to make my sins more bearable.

    I imagine this comment, like many above, will spark some angry responses. My take on the gay activists is they will bash me, just as they have others. Instead of engaging in any kind of civil dialouge until I look like the Christian, gay bashing hypocrite they want me to be.

  • jayhuck

    Scott S -

    I am not asking for any special rights or treatment because to make my sins more bearable.

    You’re comment above doesn’t necessarily make you a gay hater, but it does make you anti-gay. Gay people, by and large, aren’t asking for special rights – the religious right tries to make it sound as if they are in order to further their own agenda – what they are seeking is equality under the law.

  • Nick R

    Scott, you already have the special rights simply for being a Christian. You are protected in hate crime legislation. You cannot be denied work or housing because of your chosen lifestyle. So, it seems to me that you call these rights special because you have them and don’t want others to, simply because you are biased. Well, you’ll be pleased to know that I don’t hate Christians – I just hate their bigotry and apparent inability to reason. And if you think that’s a gross generalization, then perhaps you should go back and reevaluate your comments. Gays who are celibate can still be fired for their “lifestyle”, exactly why that “celibate lifestyle” is offensive is beyond me. Celibate gays can still be denied housing. Exactly why that should be allowed is beyond me. That Christians such as you are apparently demanding the “right” to discriminate against gays demonstrates to me that you have no clue about who Jesus was or what Jesus taught.

    Why don’t you engage in a little Bible study? On one sheet of paper right down every specific thing Jesus told people to do, and on another sheet of paper right down every specific thing Jesus told people to not do. (Pay attention to the passages that aren’t believed to be in the original documents, but apparently were added later in time). After reading them through, why don’t you try doing the ones Jesus told you to do and avoid the ones Jesus told you to not do? You might be surprised at what you see on those lists.

  • Nick R

    that should be “write” down, not “right” down.

  • Scott S

    Nick,

    I did engage in some Bible study, that is what gives me the belief that homosexuality is sinful. I don’t think this is an issue over gays, it is an issue over whether or not the Bible is without error. I believe it has to be or the things you want to me write down that Jesus said are worthless. I could pick and choose which to follow and which to not, just as you seem to have done.

  • http://www.godandgaysthemovie.com Sarah

    I just want to recommend a movie that has helped thousands of people understand what it’s like to be on the receiving end of comments like Kern’s. It’s called God and Gays: Bridging the Gap.

    Many Christians such as myself have seen it and have so appreciated the story it tells. I’d highly recommend it to Sally Kern, as a Christian for a Christian.

    They are doing a free call tonight (and then later the recording archived) with the producer of the movie and some guests talking about Kern’s comments and the spiritual response. Go to their website to learn more: http://www.godandgaysthemovie.com

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Scott,

    You are entitled to believe that homosexuality is sinful. While my research has led me to different conclusions about the message of Christ and how it applies to same-sex attracted persons, I would never try to deny you the right to disagree with me.

    I don’t doubt that there are a number of issues on which we disagree. I don’t know your theology so I cannot assume what they are, but they may include such items as:

    The rightful age of baptism

    The necessity or importance of water immersion

    The hierarchy of the church

    The place of women within the church

    Veneration of the Saints

    The Trinity

    The nature of sin

    Confession

    The structure of prayer

    Liturgy

    Fasting

    Demon possession and exorcism

    Miracles

    Prayer for the sick

    And many many more

    While I suppose it’s possible that we agree fully, it’s much more likely that we differ on a number of items. Yet each of us (and everyone else in the body of believers) rely on what we find in Scripture for the basis of our faith.

    While wars have been fought over these issues, I don’t believe that they are much important. What is important is how we respond to our differences.

    Gay people are not asking for special rights at all. And their purpose for asking for equality is to “make their sins more bearable”. They simply want civil equality under law.

    What sets you apart from, say gay activists, is that you seem to believe that your faith entitles you do impose your personal code on others. You seem, unless I misunderstand you, to place this single doctrinal dispute into a category quite unlike the authority of the Pope, or speaking in tongues, or belief in the Book of Mormon.

    I respectfully suggest you prayerfully reconsider your priorities.

  • Michael Bussee

    Scott S. said: “it is an issue over whether or not the Bible is without error” Nnot really, Scott. It is an issue over whether or not the people who read the Bible are without error.

    It may mean one thing to you and something entirely different to me. For example, some Christians believe that water baptism by immersion is necesssary for salvation.

    Some believe that you can lose your Salvatiion. Some believe that blood transfusions are sin. How do fallible humans make decisions on what the infallible Bible says?

  • Nick R

    I did engage in some Bible study, that is what gives me the belief that homosexuality is sinful.

    And yet, when I read the Bible I don’t see that.

    I see Sodom as being about inhospitality, given every reference prior to Jude deals with that issue, while Jude suggests sex with angels was the wrongdoing.

    I see Leviticus as being part of the purity code – isn’t it funny how no one considers men having sex with women who are menstruating sinful? Even though that is in the same passage as the supposed condemnation of male homosexuality? And, furthermore, the Hebrew in the condemnation deals with purity, not morality.

    Corinthians and Timothy, well no Bible prior to 1952 condemns gays there. Interesting how modern Bibles have twisted the original translations to condemn people who weren’t originally condemned in those passages. Until someone can produce translations that explicitly condemned gays in those passages prior to 1952, well I’ll think you’re just basing things on your prejudice.

    And Romans? Well, read the entire book for a change, keeping in mind Paul was trying to reconcile the Jewish and Gentile believers. When read in that context (aka the context of the letter), suddenly there’s no condemnation of gays.

    So, forgive me, but I think your view is grounded in prejudice. Even Gagnon has to resort to circular reasoning in order to make the Bible condemn gays.

    So, your view is your view, but when logic and reason are employed it rings very hollow.

  • Nick R

    But, I should add, at least your view justifies the bigotry and prejudice demonstrated by so many Christians. I guess when all is said and done that is the important thing.

  • Michael Bussee

    I would like to hear from someone who believes the Bible is the infallible word of God — but is willing to admit they may have it wrong.. How do you determine with CERTAINTY what each passsage means? Is it possible that your understanding of the Bible may be wrong? How do you decide which Old Testament laws to obey and which to overlook?

    I hear very from few conservative Christians who are willing to acknowledge that they are FALLIBLE when it comes to interpreting Scripture — and that equally sincere and intelligent born-again believers might differ on what Bible passages may actually mean. Most self-righteously insist that they KNOW. Where’s the humility?

  • Ann

    How do you determine with CERTAINTY what each passsage means?

    Michael,

    From my perspective, the two most important words in the Bible come from Jesus – He said follow me. He did not say to follow Christianity or other aspects that people have made up about religion to suit their own needs. He said follow me. Whenever I hear someone talking about (or bragging about their Christianity), it is meaningless to me on so many different levels. When I hear or see someone talk and act in a Christ like way, I become gravitated to that individual and want to know more about them and aspire to be more like them. BTW – if all the arrogance and exclusion of individuals that come from organized religion affects me to the extent it does, I can only imagine how it would affect another person who is on the cusp of believing and is discouraged by the “noise” that just becomes muffled after awhile.

  • Michael Bussee

    Ann: I agree with you, but I am still curious. How do folks who believe the Bible is the infallible word of God deal with the fact that human beings are not? How do they decide which laws to obey, which to ignore and which to impose on the rest of us?

    I am also concerned, as you are, “regarding how it would affect another person who is on the cusp of believing and is discouraged by the “noise”. I think Jesus got upset by this very same “noise” — the legalists, the self-righteous, the moral superiorty, the lack of love, mercy and basic human compassion that he often encountered among the “relgious” elite of His day.

    Not much has changed since then. Many of those “on the cusp” simply walk away — convinced that God hates them.

  • Ann

    How do folks who believe the Bible is the infallible word of God deal with the fact that human beings are not? How do they decide which laws to obey, which to ignore and which to impose on the rest of us?

    Michael,

    The answers to your questions will be as varied as the individuals you ask. We do not have any control over what or how anyone interprets the Bible, only ourselves. If you believe in Jesus and what He said and how He lived, then follow him and leave all the noise behind.

  • jayhuck

    Ann,

    I understand what you are saying, but I understand Michael as well. I also have my own beliefs on this, but the problem I see is this:

    you said If you believe in Jesus and what He said and how He lived, then follow him and leave all the noise behind.

    But EVERYTHING we know about Jesus comes to us through the writings of OTHER people – other fallible human beings. Did they tell us everything we need to know? Did they tell us the truth?

    Like I said – I am a believer, but these are valid questions!

  • Ann

    But EVERYTHING we know about Jesus comes to us through the writings of OTHER people – other fallible human beings. Did they tell us everything we need to know? Did they tell us the truth?

    Jayhuck,

    Yes, you and Michael are right – I just would never hold myself out as an expert on how to answer these very valid questions. From my perspective, it is a matter or choice and faith. I believe God made us but it is up to us to make choices throughout a lifetime about which faith or religion or beliefs we want to follow. I also know we don’t have to believe what we read or what we hear from others, no matter what the resource is – sometimes, if we quiet ourselves we can hear from a small, still voice that gives us all the answers we need.

  • jayhuck

    Ann,

    sometimes, if we quiet ourselves we can hear from a small, still voice that gives us all the answers we need.

    Absolutely!!! :) Thank you for that blessed reminder.

  • Concerned

    Ann,

    It is truly from the small, still voice that truth comes to us, however, with all of the noise in our lives today it is becoming increasingly difficult to hear that voice and to trust it. The internet has made that even more difficult as we now have voices screaming at us 24/7 if we allow them. It takes a great deal of patience, discipline, and love to stop ourselves long enough to hear what the voice of reason is trying to tell us all. That voice is one of balance for us not the extremes. In order to find this balance we must first be able to listen to those whose opinions differ from our own.

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  • http://www.eyewitnesstools.com james

    Great post, People need to read this.

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